Six years ago, on my way to the gas station, the grocery store, the coffee shop, the post office, the bank, to see a friend (though not in that order), I drove by your house five times, at least two and probably three of which were unnecessary.
I was almost on empty, I’d run out of eggs, I needed a hot tea to warm my hands, a letter to Abby who I’ve known since college needed a stamp, I had a check to deposit. Maybe so many shortcuts were necessary.
But maybe also it was that you were standing in the kitchen of your large Victorian, doing dishes, framed by the windowsill and the failing light – what photographers call “the blue hour”, when everything is perfect, and dying.
Your face glowed golden behind the glass. I won’t say how indescribably beautiful you were. I don’t want to be improper.
I could see your arms moving, which is how I guessed you were doing dishes. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known the sink was there – it was below the level of the window, and I’ve never been in your house.
I imagined your long fingers holding – what kind of plates? Simple? Round? White? Porcelain? I imagined you picking up the sponge – was it the yellow kind with the green bristles on the back? The soap, smelling of – what, lavender? Citrus?
And of course from there I imagined the ring on your left hand – silver, it bears an emerald. It does not bother me, no more than the ring on my hand. I am not bothered by the fact that, like me, you are a mother with a family to tend.
What I am stuck on is the dishes – such a small, intimate detail. But it digs into me, this not knowing what they look like.
And, not knowing, I go on my way.
Poet. Artist. Lover of the living Earth. em jollie celebrates all genres of creative expression. em sees her work as an amalgamation of prayer and protest. She edits two print journals (Naugatuck River Review and The Silkworm) and one online journal (Toe Good Poetry). Her work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Blue Earth Review, and various other publications. She has a chapbook, “Giveaway Poems”, from Foothills Publishing, a forthcoming chapbook called “A Field Guide to Falling” from Human Error Publishing, and is working on a full length manuscript.
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