Now that Spring has arrived, I hope you are amused by this poem. Both men and women who have read this have said "How did you know what my (my husband's) shed looked like. All I can say is I've been there!
There are some men who,
when they have to do a task around the house,
say a set of shelves, or some useful storage,
will measure and ponder and plan, and then,
repair to the nearest Do-it-Yourself emporium or,
more probably, to one of those old-fashioned yards
where you buy screws and nails by the pound and
they cut the wood to size.
Such a man,
to the delight and wonderment of his adoring wife
will complete the job,
the set of shelves or useful storage, and then
stand back modestly while she arranges the ornaments
or puts away the boxed collections.
There is another type who
when similarly confronted with this project of,
say, a set of shelves or some useful storage,
will grumble and sigh, saying,
"Maybe I'll think about it next weekend",
but on Saturday
he will have arranged to meet Fred at the Golf Club,
so the set of shelves or useful storage never appears.
Their wives also grumble and sigh and then,
enrol for Do-it-Yourself classes at the local comp
and do so, or engage that nice Mr. Jones
who isn't that good
but comes when he says he will and finishes the job,
the set of shelves or a useful item of storage.
And then there are the men
whose wives would never ever tell
that they need a set of shelves or some useful storage,
whose wives will wedge more books into impossible spaces
and hide piles of surplus linen under the beds,
but whose husband one day will say,
"What you need is a new set of shelves", or
"You could do with some useful storage."
Then these men repair to their sheds
where they have hoarded bounty
saved from years of previous projects.
There are several off-cuts of wood
that are not quite the same colour, gauge or finish,
boxes of salvaged "That's bound to come in handy",
old wardrobe doors and
drawers filled with odd handles,
light pulls, hinges, clips, keyhole covers,
window locks and lots more besides,
and, of course, heaps of screws, nails and hooks,
and also, assorted rusty tins with just a small amount
of paint or varnish left at the bottom,
worn out sandpaper and cloudy turps substitute:
and for these men
the assembly of the simple set of shelves
or some useful storage is a challenge.
"Shouldn't need to buy a thing" they mutter,
and their wives sigh because they know that
the finished item, though hideous, will do the job,
will be strong and will stand him banging it
and saying, "Solid as a rock that",
and they will resignedly put away the catalogue
over which they have been poring,
and in which they have especially marked the pages,
of sets of shelves and useful units for storage.
Lexley presenting a cheque to Janet Andrews and Shirley Taylor, two of the lovely befrienders at the Waterside Cancer Support Centre in Hythe, Hampshire where Lexley lives.
EDITOR: When Lexley George put together a collection of her (mainly) light-hearted poems at the end of last year she decided to donate £2 from the sale of each book to the Waterside Cancer Support Centre and was able to present the centre with a cheque at the March coffee morning.
Lexley called her collection PROSAITRY because, as the poem on the back cover suggests, it is prosaic poetry. Copies are still available from Lexley (call 02380849389) at £5.00 a copy.