Cleaning Caravans

By | 13 May 2024

To have a foreign holiday, progress.
Their parents never left England.
Retirement savings not enough.
Every Saturday they labored, cleaning

the caravans in Goodrington Park.
Grandad did hoovering and dusting,
Nan the heavy lifting: the stove, sinks,
kitchens. No one spoke of bathrooms.

Two hours tops before the next punters.
The whole summer season to save up
for two months in Benidorm, Spain.
All the caravan cleaning money spent

for foreign sunshine in the old winter.
Granddad shared the swimming pool
with old war enemies, no one speaking,
rivalry resurrected over towel placement.

They returned to spring and a pension.
Same summer work, never spoken about.
Shame and pride mixed with sangria –
a particularly working-class cocktail.

Over the years, the prices crept up,
cleaning caravans lost their sparkle.
Keys handed in. One final trip. A toast
to hard work, the sea, old enemies.

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