This poem is from our recently released book of poems by cleaners.

A fortune cookie

Somewhere a poet
is cleaning a bathroom.
Somewhere a cleaner
is writing a poem.

– Rachel McAlpine

Here is another poem about cleaners from our book my wide white bed.


the surgeon

did three knees

two hips

and a shoulder.



the cleaner did

A & E at its slow time

5am, the gap between

last night’s accidents

and today’s emergencies.

She cleaned the admin offices

before they started work

and Coronary Care

and then Orthopaedics.

Now she says she’d do anything

to hop in the spare bed in our cubicle

for a few hours’ sleep.


– Trish Harris