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At the Kitchen Sink
Camille A. Balla

Above the sink
filled with lemony suds,
my hands swish and sweep
around a dinner plate.
I wash, rinse, put it in the rack.
Outside, the red maple stands,
rooted deeply over her domain
of greening grass, lilacs, lavender.
A soft breeze passes from there to here.
I wash, rinse, put it in the rack.
A saucer. Interesting how
this simple, yet dreaded task,
picks up its own rhythm—
links outside to inside, outer to inner.
I wash, rinse, put it in the rack.
Squeezing the cloth, my Mary-side
in sync with Martha-, dishes
like beads being said
one at a time—more than a decade.
I wash, rinse, put it in the rack.
Big mysteries don’t get solved,
but quiet answers float atop soapy
solution—inside a simple cup—
while listening on my feet.
I wash, rinse, put it in the rack.
This poem first appeared in St. Anthony Messenger.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Camille A. Balla lives in far west suburban Chicago, where many of her poems are inspired from the view outside her window or from walking along the trails. Author of one chapbook, Camille’s poems have been published as greeting cards and gift items and have appeared in local and national publications. Camille, a mother of three and grandmother of six, dabbles in digital photography, sometimes using photos to enhance her poems, and she enjoys art fairs, garden walks, and dancing.

Post New Comment:
Maryann Hurtt:
Love how the mundane really isn't mundane!
Posted 05/03/2012 06:59 PM
love this! i'm so glad i don't have a dishwasher.
Posted 05/03/2012 10:10 AM
Well done! I wish I could post this on my FB page but there's now FB share button on this page.
Posted 05/03/2012 09:59 AM
Very nice. I love the religious metaphor. It makes holy the ordinary parts of life and I like that a lot!
Posted 05/03/2012 08:27 AM
Nice capturing of being in the present and enjoying the process of washing dishes and living a contemplative life. Susan T. Moss
Posted 05/03/2012 07:24 AM
A good, poetic reminder to stay in the present moment to accept all that it has to offer! Yes, a perfect start to the day.
Posted 05/03/2012 07:09 AM
Kay Sanders:
Thank you for this lovely meditation. A wonderful start to my day.
Posted 05/03/2012 06:51 AM
I love the repetition in words and action. There are some dishes that never enter the dishwasher and the memories they evoke are indelible.
Posted 05/03/2012 06:37 AM

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