Home > Hidden Messages > At the Sink, Thinking of My Mother

At the Sink, Thinking of My Mother

February 21, 2008

The house is empty, worn and cool. You’ve gone
to work; dad’s working too. You’ve made me lists
of things to do, to tidy up, to fix,
dispose of, or the like. Sometimes I do
resent it, being more these hands than heart,
at least to think that’s what you think of me

or what I total out to be. Truth is,
it’s easier begrudging these small tasks
and you, for your assigning — keeps my mind
off other things, like how the house I clean,
I clean to practice how a house — this shell
that’s partly my inheritance — is kept,

or how, with every mug I sponge clear of
the lipstick evidence of sips, what I’ve
achieved is crossing off another day
of days that tell no soul how far they stretch,
and know that one’s been set when water will
do more than wakes and graves to bury you.

by D.S. Apfelbaum

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  1. February 21, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Wonderful. This is just wonderful. The criss-cross thoughts and criss-cross rhythms.

  2. February 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Oh my God, what a stunningly wonderful poem. Thank you.

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