I stand at his sink
the white porcelain
beginning to vein and
empty the dishwasher
he filled last night
with unexpected energy
that made him proud

the blue ceramic plates
and dinner spoons
are crusted
hard with what
he could not see
with his eyes
without glasses
with his legs
buckling unaccustomed
now to supporting him

I scour the plates
and spoons
while he naps again
this morning
and recall

my schoolwork
kitchen counters
and of course
the dishes
his furrowed brow
downturned mouth
scouring red welts
at what I missed

There is a poem here
but I cannot see past
the heartache
to write it

Mary Silwance is an environmental speaker, farmhand, award-winning poet and mother. Her work appears in Kingdoms in the Wild, Konza Journal, Descansos, Heartland: Poems, Sequestrum, Well Versed, and Rock Springs Review. She is a recent recipient of the Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship for non-fiction and blogs on spiritual ecology.