The old galvanized washtub of water
Has been sitting in the sun
From early morn 'til day is done
And the water is now warm and just right
For the bath on Saturday night.
We had plenty of work
In the house and fields
Sharing the burden all week through
With only a spit bath every day
Washing quickly the feet and face
The dirt and sweat to erase
Before the evening meal and then to bed
We laid down our weary head.
Come the weekend we all knew
That a serious bath was due
So the old tub was filled and set in the sun
And when the work was done
We took our turn getting clean
Making sure to wash behind the ears
Closing our eyes as we washed the soap away
So there would be no tears.
We wrapped a sweet sun dried towel 'round
To catch the drip and rubbed bodies dry
And breathing a soft sigh
As a sibling took our place
We dressed and rushed inside
Because bedtime was nigh.
And thus was our bath time routine
On a Summer Saturday night
To wash our body and hair
Of all the dirt and grime.
How great it was to be clean
And hair with a lustrous sheen
Ready for the weekend of fun time.
The galvanized washtub was rinsed clean
And hung on the wall
Awaiting the next weekend
To be filled again and rest in the sun
Awaiting the ritual o'er and o'er again
Of Saturday night baths of family kin.
ŠJane Ward Smith
March 21, 2009