Sunday, September 11, 2011

The dishes

Writing about the Cuban Missile Crisis I found my sister had her own memories about the occasion.  My brother chose not to share any reflection.  We have each worked from our own experiences (of course).  And come to different conclusions (of course).  I suspect all siblings do.  But the set piece of there being three of us, and no automatic dishwasher: one of us washed, one dried, and one put away the dishes  (the roles were interchangeable as we got older).   That was a certainty.  

It*s not surprising
But it is.
It still is.
My sister and brother and I
Remember different things
About growing up.
Our paths diverged early on
And soon enough
We grew up in completely different houses
At the same address.
Our parents were different
Yet pictures
Would tell the same story.
We went to completely different schools
In the same neighborhood.
We came home for supper after kick-the-can
Took up our different places
Washed, dried, put away
The dishes,
Three children,
Young adults at holidays
Washed, dried
Put away the dishes
In completely different houses
At the same address.
We breathed different air
Saw different things.
Put away the dishes
Exactly the same:
One at the sink
One with a dish towel
One between the counter and the cupboard
After every meal shared
For years.

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