You always did the dishes, when I was growing up

so now that I am grown up

I do the dishes.


It’s a long time to stand if you do it right

(like you did)

wipe dishes spotless before they’re machine-scrubbed

clean the sink, the counter

mop the floor.


Why don’t you make the kids do that?

my husband asks.


I shrug. Plunge my hands into hot water.

Today is your birthday, Mom.

And I am doing the dishes.