Washing the Dishes by Hand
Kari Ann Ebert
Fingers flick hot water from the faucet.
I abandoned the dishwasher long ago,
need to feel the heat, handle the plates,
witness the bubbles- newborn and shiny-
rise in the kitchen sink.
I swim back to the secret cove off Melton Lake Drive,
recall the white of your chest
as you jump off the dock towards me-
a shadow in the lake.
I spread my fingers in the lather, form a delicate web of froth,
drift back to our first winter stateside - the blizzard of ’96.
The children’s faces grow pink in the cold,
eyelashes turn white with crystals.
They refuse to come inside, twilight stretches into bedtime.
I rinse saucer, then teacup,
place them in the drainer to dry.
The sun disappears behind dogwoods,
soap foam fades to cutwork lace,
water stands cold in the sink.
I reach deep, feel for anything forgotten,
grasp one last spoon.
About the Author: Kari Ann Ebert’s poetry has appeared in cahoodaloodaling, The Broadkill Review, and Gargoyle as well as the anthology, Aurora. She was a 2016 Seashore Writers Retreat fellow and has a forthcoming collaborative project with the Delaware Humanities Forum. Kari lives in Delaware and has two grown children.