Hoovering Lord Dudley by Bob Woodroofe

set in position and adjusted
the small steps grate on stone floor
her quiet step on the treads as
she climbs up to reach him

the flick of feather duster on marble
into and out of nooks and crannies
is drowned by the click and then hum
soft and continuous of the hoover

quiet words exchanged with the man
who cleans the candle stand
as the soft sound of sand
sifts into the tray below

the candles are extinguished
so there is no sound of
the hot wax that drips
onto the sand beneath

they stop switch off 11 o’clock
a recorded message and prayer
heard as the sun breaks silently
through colour stained glass

after only footsteps a rustle of coats
the rumble of a wheeled suitcase
hushed whispers soundless shadows
that pass that break light