A Cook’s Battle - Poem by Oskar Hansen
The ship -cook was tired it had been a long day, the ship was old
full of cockroaches, one had found its way in his bread dough and
when the captain cut a slice of bread it was there, a brown raisin;
the old man had been very angry. The cook’s trouble was roaches
they were everywhere. He had asked to have the galley fumigated
when the ship was in dry dock, but no it was far too expensive.
Every week he boiled a big pan of water and squirted into corners,
it helped a bit and he had buckets full, but soon they were back
encroaching his galley. Then there were mites in the flour which
he had to sift before baking bread, not his fault yet he had to take
the flack. He often worked till late evening to keep the galley clean
he had even painted it so on the surface it looked bright and nice.
He was losing the battle against insects he often felt he was losing
his mind as well, they appeared in his dreams strangulating him.
Time was hard not easy to get a job, still when his ship docked in
Bombay he was off and the crew could get someone else to insult.
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