“Scrub your plates,
And then the floor.
Wash your feet,
Then wash some more.”
Yet, through the filter
Of their brains,
The message shifts;
It’s not the same:
“Scrub your teeth,
With cookies, cake.
Wash the walls,
With homemade waste.”
©2020 Chelsea Owens
Photo Credit: Photo by JACK REDGATE from Pexels
“If only, if only,” the young mother sighs, “I did all the chores;” there’s hope in her eyes.
She washes and foldses and relocates toys.
She vacuums and bleaches and separates boys.
“If only, if only,” the young mother shouts, “You’d not kill your brother when I’m not about.”
She wrestles and time-outs and wait till Dad’s homes.
She chastens and kisses and picks up her phone.
“If only, if only,” the young mother frets, “I didn’t buy takeout whenever we’re stressed.”
She hustles and buckles and drives to the queue.
She searches and scrounges and pays for the food.
“If only, if only,” the young mother fears, “When I spent the money, the money was there.”
She saves scraps and worries and checks the receipts.
She eats less and coupons and admits defeats.
“If only, if only,” the young mother pleads, “You’d all go to bed so that there’s time for me.”
She chases and washes and brushes their teeth.
She last-drinks and stories and wishes sweet dreams.
She closets and darkens and blocks all her calls.
She’s lonely and hopeless and sees only walls.
“If only, if only,” the young mother cries, waiting for change till the day that she dies.