Dust If You Must

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

To paint a picture, or write a letter,

Bake a cake, or plant a seed;

Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,

With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;

Music to hear, and books to read;

Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there

With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;

A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,

This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

Old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go (and go you must)

You, yourself, will make more dust.

By Rose Milligan

2014-08-04 12.22.09-1


This is my favourite poem, introduced to me by my grandma many years ago. In my youthful naivety, I thought the poem was about cleaning!….. I was so busy trying to be a good wife, mum, daughter, employee as well as a domestic goddess, that the time passed in a flash and now, I have difficulty remembering it if I’m honest.

Now I don’t care if I can’t see my face in the oven door or there is dust underneath the bed. I do what needs to be done and no more. It took a long time to understand the significance of the poem but, finally, now I get it!


The greatest gift we have is the gift of time…don’t waste it!

7 thoughts on “Dust If You Must

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  1. This is such a wonderful poem. There were times in my life when I thought having a perfectly clean home was the most important thing. Then, thank goodness, my sons’ lives took over. I started doing things that didn’t involve dusting every day because I was busy with them. And I am forever thankful for that.

    Liked by 1 person

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