My Father Washing Dishes

For fifty years he stood at his job
growing a small pension and varicose veins
that still ache when he walks

Yet he refuses to get a dishwasher
to save his back and legs: it was for her sake
he stood    and ours

Nothing has changed    He leans
against the sink    bends his stiff back
over the suds

She had cooked for him for almost sixty years
had been a partner of the first water: loyal
loving    a constant friend    and a gypsy

on the dance floor where his legs felt young
despite the pain    And so he stands and scrubs
each cup and plate    the frying pan    each fork

while the hot water pours from the tap like music.

:: Charles Fishman, Country of Memory (2004)

No comments:

Post a Comment