Mother, Washing Dishes

By Susan Meyers Susan Meyers
                                She rarely made us do it—
we’d clear the table instead—so my sister and I teased
that some day we’d train our children right
and not end up like her, after every meal stuck
with red knuckles, a bleached rag to wipe and wring.
The one chore she spared us: gummy plates
in water greasy and swirling with sloughed peas,
globs of egg and gravy.
 
                                Or did she guard her place
at the window? Not wanting to give up the gloss
of the magnolia, the school traffic humming.
Sunset, finches at the feeder. First sightings
of the mail truck at the curb, just after noon,
delivering a note, a card, the least bit of news.

Poem copyright ©2009 by the Univ. of So. Carolina Press. Susan Meyers’ most recent book of poems is Keep and Give Away, Univ. of So. Carolina Press, 2006. Poem reprinted from Tar River Poetry, Vol. 48, no. 1, Fall 2008, by permission of the publisher.

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Poet Susan Meyers

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking

Biography

Poet Susan Meyers is the author of Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006). She lives in South Carolina.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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