On Sundays

by Paul Stephenson

Dad dilly-dallies, consummates the garage,
and Mum shilly-shallies inside sieved clouds
 
while Son self-raises, pulls massive wheelies,
as weeds gather along snapdragon alleys. On Sundays
 
Dad fathoms Mum’s new-fangled gizmo
and Mum levels Dad’s spirit, holds the pencil
 
while Son checks out nobody going down
the slide, sees a see-saw horizontal. On Sundays
 
Dad blows a gasket, regrets screw plugs and Mum
slides a spatula underneath, laments margarine. Come evening
 
Dad swaps D.I.Y. for I.P.A. and Mum folds in tablespoons
of powder; both get pally pally. On Sundays they forget
 
to prepare Mondays and by Marmite, Songs of Praise
finally over (thank God), there’s little to show except crumbs
 
of a half-risen sponge, two hammered dovetail joints
and the extra surface for balancing very light objects.