BRETT KAVANAUGH DOES THE DISHES
Brett’s hands are elbow deep in soapy water
washing the plates, one by one, attacking
the slime of egg yolk, coagulated bacon grease.
Brett rinses each plate but he can’t get them clean
he rubs his fingers back and forth
across their china faces but the filth
holds on. This isn’t Brett’s job, the dishes,
but he volunteered this Sunday morning
while his wife and daughters
sit at the breakfast table newspapers
spread open under their eyes.
They look at each other questioning.
This isn’t Brett’s job doing the dishes
but he made his tight-mouth face
and walked purposefully to the bright white
sink in the bright white kitchen. Brett runs the
hot water and squeezes bubbling soap on the sponge
and scrubs. His family watches from the other side
of the breakfast nook with its potted
plants and bright sunlight, its Sunday stillness.
Brett stacks each gleaming white china plate
in the dish drainer in a shining line.
He grunts and tackles the heavy skillet
a pool of white grease stuck to its dark bottom.
He scrubs and scrubs and scrubs and scrubs and scrubs.
—from Poets Respond
October 21, 2018
Katharine Harer: “This poem is in response to the ongoing news stories about the recent Senate hearings and the selection of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice.”