She stands at the enamel dishpan
prune hands in warm water
little robot of wash rinse stack
looks out the window
as clouds scud from the west
thinks, I hope it doesn’t rain.
Dad’s uptight enough,
smells this morning’s cookies fresh from the oven
thinks about mixing them
and what’s in the cupboard …
in a concoxious experiment
of baking soda, vinegar
green coloring, salt
and reaching for the corn starch
she’s Mom-caught in the act.
“What are you doing?
Water’s cold, soap’s dead!
No wonder dishes take you
© 2013 Violet Nesdoly
This is a memory poem. I grew up in a large family, the oldest of nine kids. Washing dishes was a big by-hand job that took forever anyway. Might as well make it fun with a little scientific diversion. Did any of you do stuff like that?
This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Betsy H. at Teaching Young Writers.
10 thoughts on “Dishes”
I’m an only child, but doing dishes and baking were a big part of m y life nonetheless…and this did, indeed, bring back memories!
Thanks Matt! Good training that–doing dishes, right? If nothing else, it gave one lots of time for day-dreaming.
I love this one, Violet! Dishes and kitchen talk :). Gazing out the window while doing dishes is a favorite pastime though I’ve never washed quite as many dishes as you have all in one go. Never seen “concoxious” in a poem before either. Pass me a fresh cookie.
Thank you, Jama! The worst times were when I had to wash the cream separator after all those dishes. All I can say is, I’m now so thankful for plentiful hot water that comes out of the tap.
As for ‘concoxious’ – I made it up. Is that allowed?
Oh, that brought back memories. I remember dishes taking me HOURS as a kid.
Thanks Ruth! I thought I might not be the only one 🙂
I like concoxious! Playing with language is part of the fun of poetry writing. Thanks for bringing back the memories for me as well.
Well said, Jeff: “Playing with language is part of the fun of poetry writing.” Thanks for dropping by!
Fortunately, my sister and I just had to clear but somehow she always seemed to be in the bathroom while I was doing the work.
Robotic, yes. Dishes were also my job growing up and I remember the excitement of a dishwasher joining our family. I still dislike doing dishes more than any other job though, dishwasher or not. I think doing dishes as a child is somehow a traumatic experience we’d all like to forget. 😉