The Laundromat

Paulette had phoned in a frenzy, she
Was having a crying fit,
I said, ‘I can’t understand you girl,
Slow down, slow down a bit!’
And then she told me that John was dead
That she’d found him lying there,
That somebody must have broken in
And crushed his skull with a chair.

‘The place is a perfect shambles, Rob,
It looks like a bomb has hit,
There’s blood all over the hearth, the hob,
And outside, over the grit,
He must have left by the patio door
There are footprints over the tiles,
I’ve never seen so much blood before…’
And then she sobbed for a while.

I made the appropriate noises, just
To comfort her in her loss,
But really, I couldn’t care at all,
I just couldn’t give a toss,
For John had jumped in my woman’s bed
The moment my back was turned,
I had to hide that I felt so glad
That all of his boats were burned.

‘I need you Rob, will you come on down,
I can’t do this on my own,’
Her words, the nectar of ancient gods
I felt that my wings had grown.
‘I’ll be there, honey, I won’t be long,
We’ll tidy it up just pat,
I just have something I have to do,
I’ll pop by the Laundromat.’

I tied the washing bag by the neck
To drag it out to the car,
But only got to the hallway when
There came a knock at the door,
A neighbour wanted to borrow a tool
So I rummaged round in the shed,
And when he went, I had to be gone,
Drove straight to my girl’s instead.

The police were crawling all over the place
And said that, ‘You can’t come in!’
‘I came express at my friend’s request.’
‘Too bad, but where have you been?’
I said I’d give them a statement, then
I shrugged and said, ‘That’s that!
Just tell Paulette I’ll come to her when
I’ve been to the Laundromat.’

The police were there at the Laundromat
When I sauntered in with the bag,
The sergeant stared and he pursed his lips
As my shoulders began to sag.
‘What’s that on the bag?’ he questioned me,
And I said, ‘it looks like mud!’
‘Now isn’t that strange, it seems to be
That your bag is seeping blood!’

David Lewis Paget