The Dishwasher

March 27, 1991

The Dishwasher

ME = By Teresa Dowding

When She smiles it's

(give us a smile sweetheart)

taking a breath or

simply desperation

and She is blank

to survive.

Pain transforms Her body

(nice legs shame about the face)

into an abstraction

that keeps Her going.

She can't stop.

So She shakes off

the dead gripping horror

at comforting words

(it's only a compliment dear)

sliding from the radio —

a mind-ripping object like

a forever screaming child

it sits on the shelf and

oozes at Her back how

women have been liberated

long long ago —

a whispering lullaby.

And She keeps going.

Has to.

Ignores the patronising

hate disguised smiles

from limp-refined ladies

who lunch off Her

gleaming dishes and

agree delicately with

the radio that tears

at her brain and

makes her want to

slip into something

more comfortable like —

oblivious mad violence.

But She doesn't.

She clocks up the

few hourly dollars

which buy so much bread

(where's my dinner love?)

vegetables, meat,

washing powder, soap

(where's my bloody tie!)

clothes —

and more.

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