Written Between Broom Sweeps

When loading the dishwasher, I think of unloading it,
the way heated glass feels against my fingertips,
but I do not let my mind go past the unloading,
to the re-loading. Instead I dwell on the moment
the kitchen will look clean, counters respectable.
If a pause button existed, I would keep
my apartment suspended in this moment,
but already in another room, Duplo is scattered
on the floor, and the baby has her tongue pressed
against the glass, fingers smudging whorls
where there was Windex. Labor undone
by another’s hand. Perhaps this is why a poet
said to me once, without malice, that mother’s
poems lack depth. I am trapped in the now,
suspended, between chores and bruise kisses,
between cooking and Fancy Nancy, between
the moment my body lets me fall asleep,
and the moment my baby wakes, wanting.

Caitlin Thomson
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