Sometimes I get anxious because I will die with the poetry in me. I know it’s there. I think the “One Who Wants it Perfect” gets her way.
She blocks the light in the doorway, her hands on her hips, moist – she’s rubbed them on her damp apron. She looks at me: “you’ll never get it right,” she says. Having done her work, she turns and walks away, one thick leg ahead of the other. I hear her call from the kitchen: “Come and clean the sink!” she says, loudly. “I hear you!,” I should say, loud enough for her to hear (I never said it to Mom, but I should have, grunted, at least).
I trudge off to the kitchen, join her in the narrow space, where she rattles everything she touches and moves her hefty body in my way, every time. Her legs bump against me, as if I need a reminder of her girth, the space she takes. I sullenly do the work – fast! “Get me out of here!” I think. Then, there are more mugs in the sink and I see the dust on the shelf under the window, right at eye level. “That needs cleaning, too,” I think, and wipe it down. I arrange bright things on the shelf, beauty, for a moment.