The first bath that I remember was at the hands
of my older sister. My mother was glad
to delegate her child rearing tasks.

It was an old bathroom in the city with white tiles
covered with thin black lines, varicose veins,
emphasizing its age. The water was warm

and I remember the Ivory soap smell.
At the end I was wrapped in a towel
and carried dripping into bed.

Every summer, we lived in the same house
in the country. It lacked most amenities.
It was really a summer cottage with pretentions.
We had one bathroom without a tub.
It had a sink, toilet and shower. It
was built with cinder blocks, homemade

and painted with grey enamel before
I was old enough to remember. I stood to be washed
and rinsing was several splashes of water

that wasn’t as warm as in the city.
There were no curtains on the windows,
so the trees outside could see everything.

Upstairs two bedrooms waited — one
with a door and my parents’
with only a curtain. The rooms had beaverboard

walls without insulation. When I was very little
I slept on a cot in my parent’s bedroom, only moving
to the bedroom with a door after my sisters left.