Doing Dishes

Another in a string of months,
subtracting time from the tome
of eternity.

Housewives stock their drawers
and spurn the advances
of salesmen and wastrels.

It was the year the ignorant
stripped the rind from tender
flesh,

exposing the sensitive meat
to the sting of mortality
and the reality of decay.

She watches through the window
as children bounce back when
they fall,

throw balls for each other
and the dog, oblivious to failure
and defeat.

Wipes away a single tear,
and continues with the dishes.

Astronomical Clock (Astronomical Dial), Prague...

Written for the

Sunday Whirl Wordle.

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28 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

28 responses to “Doing Dishes

  1. I was taken with “children bounce back when they fall,” which is a great phrase.

  2. Awww… as it is with so many a woman’s lot in life. Very vivid read Mark.

  3. I am enjoying the vignettes being presented by everyone’s poems. Most of us are of an age to have seen these scenes, or to know of them!

  4. Great tercets. They start so tight, then stretch out a bit. Then you get us with that wonderful couplet ending. I like “spurn the advances / of salesmen”.

    Richard

  5. Hi Mark,

    Your writing seems so effortless. It flows very well. I struggled mightily with this wordle of words, especially housewives. But your poem is simple with a nice touch of elegance.

  6. This may be my favorite, Mark. I haven’t read many…but this write rocks these difficult words. You’ve captured something that is likely prevalent. Your use of rind is outstanding, and I love the last two lines.

  7. Oh yes, doing dishes becomes a time of meditation and reflection. Really like the commonness and relativity you found in these words.

    Elizabeth
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/in-one-flashing-moment/

  8. Marking time with the mundane. Loved the title, followed by that opening stanza.

  9. Love this, Mark. Especially this line:
    “It was the year the ignorant
    stripped the rind from tender
    flesh”

    Your portrayal of the sigh of mundane life is so strong.

  10. You wove your words magically. Excellent poem. I like the innocence of your word picture.

  11. Windham, excellent piece, my friend! Power and pathos drips from your words. Glad to have come to read.

  12. Those little people bounce back because they are so much closer to the ground! Like the line about salesman and wastrels too. That single tear is a ‘gotcha’ moment. Kudos.

    I’m here:
    http://julesgemsandstuff.blogspot.com/2012/07/sw-64-wordle-diamond-in-rough.html

  13. i need a dog for doing the dishes as well…ha…nah…well portrayed mark..some lectures hidden in this dishwater…

  14. It was the year the ignorant
    stripped the rind from tender
    flesh,

    exposing the sensitive meat
    to the sting of mortality
    and the reality of decay

    dang that line has such a classic feel to it….so descriptive but so artfully put as well….really nice setting the scene and the last tear is def evocative….

  15. Oh Mark, this is something else. Just a heavy sadness to this, and one would hope, the beginnings of rage. As much as we’d like to hope; nothing ever really changes with these human creatures.

  16. Laurie Kolp

    I just love the opening… the whole piece is so powerful, touching, Mark.

  17. Love this line…“children bounce back when they fall,” nice piece!

  18. Wonderful wordling, Mark. You make sense of the scene and enchant us.

  19. hedgewitch

    Everything here is starkly lit and finely drawn, an engraving of a moment in time, an anagramming of a feeling. I also like the lines brian quoted, and subtracting time from the tome of eternity.

  20. I like this:

    “It was the year the ignorant
    stripped the rind”

    But at first, I read it as, “It was the year of the ignorant.” 🙂 What a great way to start a book or a story!

    Sometimes all you can do is press on, one dish at a time.

    ~Shawna

  21. Well done, Mark. Very vivid and a slice of real life. Good one!

  22. This feels so timeless to me… the rhythm and cycles of the ages. A great poem.

  23. She watches through the window
    as children bounce back when
    they fall,

    throw balls for each other
    and the dog, oblivious to failure
    and defeat.

    and I have been there, it all described as above. Watching them out the kitchen window sink, playing tag, football, sledding, throwing the dog a ball. And I have wiped a tear away, not because I’m unhappy, but feel blessed to be able to see and enjoy it all! Beautiful poem.

  24. A brilliantly observed and thoughtful poem. Loved it!

  25. I love the inner intimacy in this. Not completely explicated..like a detail in a larger picture – a window, a countertop, a lemon with a knife point inserted, Vermeer light touching a drooping tendril and a hand upraised to children outside. Quite skillful and brilliantly aesthetic!

  26. You’re pen draws blood with this one Poet…cutting imagery, killer finish…LOVED it!

  27. Great piece, images are excellent

  28. This is a brilliant capture, as much can be read into this. Reading S3 and S4 almost had me wondering if she was abused. Then reading again I thought perhaps the tear was for her love of the children. But mostly I feel sadness for this woman, who perhaps envisioned more for herself than life has given her, and seems to now be living out her “sentence.” As I said, many ways to read this. Very evocative and well penned.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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