The maid completed all her tasks on time
as her boyfriend waited to take her out.
But the mistress delayed her, what a crime,
asked her to sanitise the spout:
“Just one more polish to remove that smudge.”
Left alone, the maid did nowt and waited.
That damned teapot was clean; she wouldn’t budge.
Mistress returned and elucidated:
“Oh I say, that’s looking so much better.
Run along, but don’t be late with my tea.”
The maid wrote her resignation letter
as she sat with her man under their tree.
Life can’t be lived to a snob’s beck and call,
she must seize the day and learn to walk tall.
This sonnet is a tribute to my Mum, pictured, who, before training to be a nurse, worked as a maid for a lady accustomed to giving orders to servants. The poem is based on an episode when Mum called her employer’s bluff and got away with it.