Doing chores: a spiritual practice?


(poetry diary 20) Feeling bored as usual with nightly chores, (do the laundry, fix the lunches, wash the dishes, lay out the clothes, etc. etc.) last night I went looking for more poems about necessary mundanities.  Susan Meyer’s “Mother, Washing Dishes,” like Wilbur’s “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World”  and David Budbill’s “This Shining Moment in the Now,” makes chore-doing seem like a spiritual and meditative practice.

It’s a nice way to think of chores, I suppose. Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” could possibly be considered spiritual as well, as it portrays getting up early to warm the house and polish one’s son’s shoes as acts of love….

I’ll try to think of my own work in this way as I do it tonight.  Ar.

Mother, Washing Dishes

                                She rarely made us do it—
we’d clear the table instead—so my sister and I teased
that some day we’d train our children right
and not end up like her, after every meal stuck
with red knuckles, a bleached rag to wipe and wring.

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