To Those Who Clean Up After Our Dirty Business

Dearest Restroom Cleaning Attendant

I watched you today as you mopped the floor in the public restroom, cleaning up after our business. You were singing a tune, though I didn’t understand the words, it sounded like a tune of praise.

You had your gloves on and your mask, your hair was styled with beautiful intricate braids. When you looked up to wring the soiled water from the stringy fibres, your eyes were still bright, though tired.

Many came and went – going about their secret business behind those closed cubicle doors. One lady impatiently huffed a little that you seemed to be in her way and took a little too long as you finished cleaning the cubicle she wanted. Others who came in two by two carried on their catty conversations, trampling over the damp sparkling floor that you had just a moment ago wiped clean.  

Did I just hear you sigh? Did your eyes just cast a little spell their way – to get them to notice your presence, your activity – to spark some kind of consideration in their hearts.

Who cleans their toilet bowls at home I wonder to myself? I can almost hear her wondering these words too.

I also wonder how long it takes you to make your way home in the evenings? Do you immediately change & rinse the odours from your uniform? Do you have to immediately boil the water to start the children’s dinner? Is there some more cleaning, mopping, sweeping to be done? Are there elderly parents, moody husbands or partners waiting for your attention?

Does anyone know that you are so valuable and valued in this world, no matter what work you are doing!

Back in the restroom, I hear you pick up the tune you were singing, seemingly unperturbed, carrying on with your thankless, invisible deeds.

Before I walk out, I thank you, send you God’s blessings and see you so clearly.

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