Maggie Butt

Nylon Sheets

This was the future come to pass
test-tube fibres, grown by science

housekeeping purses flew wide
as mouths of hungry baby birds

two pairs for each bed (one in the wash)
Buy British, dream smug in Bri-nylon

bedtime flashed and sparked in pink and mauve
designed by hippies on a psychedelic trip

thus swinging sixties cured the washday blues
no more heaving sodden cotton sheets

between the steamy twin-tub drums
these flew like fledglings, chirruping

replaced the sombre sails along the washing line
with gaudy parakeets, Carnaby Street carnival

dry in a trice and best of all, no ironing
(faint smell of charred bras carried on the wind.)

How did our mothers spend that newly minted time
which made it worth the sweaty, suffocating sleep

the slippery touch, the catching on rough heels
a generation rising charged with static?