Poems of the Week

Cleaning Sabrina

by Julia Griffin

(with thanks to the Master)

“A statue of Sabrina and a memorial to Capability Brown at Croome is covered in blue crayon.”
BBC News

Sabrina blue,
Listen where thou art sprawling
Over a graceful, pseudo-Roman scene,
Recovering from the appalling
Behaviour of the litter-dropping crew:
Listen to the cleaners’ prayer,
Goddess of graffiti’d hair,
Hear and come clean!

Listen and accept our hymn,
In the name of Zud and Vim,
By the power of brush and sponge,
Honoured long for scouring grunge,
By descaling alkaline,
Through whose power great bath tubs shine,
By hydroxides, scourge of tar,
And immortal vinegar,
Followed up by faithful bleach
(Wisely kept from children’s reach):
For the sake of good man Brown,
Capable of such renown,
And, still more encouraging,
Great John Milton, poet-king,
Who immortalized your name
Ere the vile Crayola came:
Do not let these oily stains
Mark you like thrombotic veins;
Rise, rise, and lift thy scrubbed-off head,
Radiant, de-crayonèd,
Like an Ajax-rescued queen,
Re-perfected, re-pristine:
Hear and come clean!