Doing Dishes (a Kevin Still original)

We’ve been thinking through gratitude this month, with the topics loosely oriented around the supper table.  Today Kevin shares a piece of poetry that somehow reminds me of an old episode of The Andy Griffith Show, but that’s another topic altogether.  Nice work, bullfighter.

As an aside, if any reader can name the form, I’ll mail a forty pound turducken their way, just in time for the Thanksgiving meal…


Doing Dishes
An agreement made seven years ago:
she would cook, I would clean. Culinary
balance restored before it was broken.
My knuckles split once in the winter. Hands
beneath water, fingers rubbing forks, while
cold air scrubbed off skin like dried sauce from plates.
My wife finds a travel mug in the car,
bug-gut thick coffee and cream fuzz around
the bottom. I uphold my end, and sulk.
Still, I like the sink and the liquid heat,
the Do to Done piles dipping down dirty
through baptismal lathers. My priestly hands
pickle to the hilt, sleeves to the elbows,
my thoughts washed in the quiet of our life.

This entry was posted in Food, Guest Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Doing Dishes (a Kevin Still original)

  1. jennie1lynn says:

    I have this relationship with washing dishes. =) When I was growing up, my sister and I would sing together while we did the dishes. All of our most important talks happened at the sink. Now I’m grown up and married, so I think while doing the dishes and fill her in later over the phone.

    In other news…this is a sonnet, but I don’t recognized a rhyming pattern. Blank verse sonnet?

    • Kiki Malone says:

      Jennie – We dish-doing fans are a rare breed. I am glad to know another.

      The question of this poem’s form is still in question. There’s some discrepancy between tradition and modernity. More specifically, there’s discrepancy on just how far I can bend the rules of tradition to earn this modern piece a classic classification. (I hate rhyming all the timing.) Still, Seth owes you a 40 pound bird. Bless your heart.

  2. i hate those moldy travel mugs – but i don’t hate that this brings the burnt, turned of it all right to the tip of my nose. i think the form works well for this tribute!

    my grandmother has a dishwasher but they never use it, she and pop spend every evening washing and drying and looking out the kitchen window into the pasture. we’ve never had a dishwasher, and i wouldn’t turn one down, but there is something sweet in the repetition.

  3. Kiki Malone says:

    Form in question, yes, but you are kind.

    We have a dishwasher (but no sink-side window). Still I power scrub everything by hand before stacking it in the diswasher. So you might say we have a Sanitizer.

    They say repetition is key to many things. I like when sweetness kindles the keys.

  4. sethhaines says:


    I really loved this. Amber and I read it out loud on our trip last night and agreed that it was equal parts solid, solitary, and humorous (bug-gut thick? that’s funny).

    i also appreciate your exploration of capitalization. really. i do.

    Thanks for writing this Kevin. Thanks for showing us how you love your wife.

  5. Chadly says:

    Fantastic poem. Domesticity transformed into words. I do so like your words, Kevin. I didn’t even know you wrote poems.

    Does seem to be fourteen lines of un-rhymed iambic pentameter. I vote for blank-verse sonnet.

    I also vote that kevin be compelled to write more of ’em.

    • hamster says:

      Chadly – I do thank you. And I’ll be doing some iambic pentameter studies soon enough. For some odd reason, I like wrestling with form. It does something to even your prose when you work in the confines of feet and meter and rhyme. I’m not sure what all it does, but it adds some music to paragraph here and there. Thanks for chiming in, Chadly. I miss you stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s