Housewife: Unemployed.

He said “Your occupation please”,
This census-taking guy.
I started to enumerate
And said quite frankly, “I
Wash the dishes, scrub the floors,
Shine the windows, polish doors,
Bathe three children, wipe their noses,
Work a little in the roses.
Do the washing, iron the clothes,
Pick up playthings, mend the hose,
Sweep out daily, close britches,
Sew a dress with tiny stitches,
Nurse a sick one, make the beds,
Kiss hurt places, shampoo heads,
Wash the blood off, hunt the mittens,
Wipe up after pups and kittens,
Tuck in covers, hear each prayer,
Brag a little, ease a care,
Take your pick. I get no pay,
But that’s what I do every day”.
He listened very carefully,
That’s why I’m so annoyed,
Because that man just scribbled down
‘Housewife. Unemployed.’

~Hazel Barkham Dunn

[Published in the July 2007 edition of Royal Statistical Society News,
London]

HT: BG

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3 thoughts on “Housewife: Unemployed.

  1. Just came across the above poem. I am 71 years old. My mother wrote this poem when my brother, sister, and I were very young. In 1950, she published this poem in the Dallas Morning Newspaper. During the many years that have passed, her name was omitted from the poem. She died quite a few years ago. It is hard to believe that it has been republished and is now being enjoyed by others on several web pages. She would be so thrilled. She was a wonderful mother and wrote many beautiful poems. Her name was Hazel Barkham Dunn.

  2. Just revisited your web page this morning. Thank you so very much for placing my mother’s name on her poem.

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