"Who Was Your Servant Last Year?"

Weekly Scribblings #70: Listmania

Prompt: "...compose either a list poem or prose piece that incorporates the idea of a list."

I have never written a list poem.  Most of the examples I read were rather boring, and read pretty much like lists.  I have not read the other poems linked to Weekly Scribblings, and expect to find them quite poetic.  Mine?  It reads like a list!  Not my favorite form.

If the kitchen sink is empty,

it’s too late for maid service,                                                                  

wash your dishes yourself.


The kitchen’s closed when the dishes are done,  

the cook is off,

only self-service is available.


Do NOT leave dirty dishes in the sink for me to find in the morning.


Do not put the juice container back in the ‘fridge with ½” remaining.

The above applies to iced tea, milk, soda, lemonade,                                                             

and all other beverages.                                                                                                            

Do I really need to spell that out?


Stop throwing water bottles in the trash;                                                                                      

I pay a 10-cent deposit on each.


Pick up your stuff, or it will be chewed.


No yelling about the dog when your stuff is chewed. 


Put your shoes in your room when they come off your feet.                                                          

There will be a 25 cent return fee per pair should I pick them up before the dog chews them. 


Put your dirty clothes in the hamper or they won’t be washed.


Check your own pockets,                                                                                                       

money found in the washer or dryer becomes mine.


Hang up your wet towels.


Do not put wet towels in the hamper!                                                                                    

How hard it that to understand?                                                                                                  

You do know how to tell the difference between wet and dry, right?


If you clog the toilet, use the plunger.                                                                                       

You know where it is.    

Same place it's been since before you were born,

under the sink.                                                                                                             

If the toilet is clogged, I do not need to hear about it.                                                           

Just unclog it.                                                                                                                                  

Use the plunger.

You know where it is.   


If the soap dispenser is empty, fill it up.                                                                                        

It does not matter that “it was empty when I found it.”


Replace the toilet paper roll if there isn’t enough for the next person’s needs.                                  

If it’s already low, replace it.                                                                                                             

In addition, for heaven's sake, do  NOT put it on backwards!    

It comes from underneath, NOT over the top!

I do not care how the Whitaker’s do it.


I love you!

©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

"Who Was Your Servant Last Year?" is something my mother used to ask me when she thought I was expecting here to do something she apparently believed was my responsibility.  She was also fond of asking, "Who died and made you queen?"  

The "list" items are nearly all actual things I tried, with varying degrees of success, to teach my children.  I did take their shoes if I found them on the floor!  They were little, and I'd put them on top of the refrigerator until the "ransom" was paid.   

Am I still working on any of the items with the last, now adult, child still at home?  Yes!  Dishes in the empty sink and leaving the soap dispensers empty!  I won't tell you how many times I have been in the shower, wet, only to find NO soap in the dispenser!  In fact, it happens so often, I made up a little song about my "being a dope, I refill the soap."  

(....and, no, I did not format the link to be the way Blogger decided it would be today!  Two people worked on changing it, but it was already SO frustrating to get the body of the post to format I didn't want to risk messing with it too much.   It is now highlighting words it thinks are misspelled, that aren't!  Works like "want," "two," "the" even!   And that tiny Æ in the upper corner, not my doing.) 








  1. This is truly EPIC! ♥️♥️♥️

  2. I can rather see why you might not have enjoyed writing this.

    1. I might have done better going with prose! I tried one listing the dogs I've had, but it was worse! I like how you have prose, but a list within it. And I want to read more!

  3. A familiar list, although now there are only the two of us, the list is not so long! I agree with this one:
    ‘Do not put the juice container back in the ‘fridge with ½” remaining.
    The above applies to iced tea, milk, soda, lemonade,
    and all other beverages.’
    And these:
    ‘Put your dirty clothes in the hamper or they won’t be washed.
    Check your own pockets,
    money found in the washer or dryer becomes mine.’

    1. I know! Can you believe anyone would put the container back like that! I think they do it so they don't have to wash the empty one or make more iced tea or whatever. If there isn't enough for someone else, use it all, don't put it back!

  4. Loved it...and your Mum....mine used to say if you don't like the service here, change your hotel! What did your last servant die of ? Ask Mary the Maid she will find it !

    I was not going to write a list poem but having read this one I may change my mind. Well done !

    1. Thank you. I love "Ask Mary the Maid." Funny mom!

  5. I love that last one but we'd fight over it. I want it over the top.

    1. Isn't it funny how people are so passionate about how it hangs? I wonder if it's regional? I think only one time growing up did I see it hanging over the top, the "wrong" way!

  6. As I live by myself now It matters not which way I arrange things and I am very lenient with myself. Mind you I do prefer the toilet roll sheet to be near me not hiding behind it! I thoroughly enjoyed the read.


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