'Chipped and grubby like old friends with egg on their faces'

entry picture

Lois Parker Edstrom, a retired nurse, lives on Whidbey island, off the coast of Washington, and her 2016 book Night Beyond Black, from MoonPath Press, has many accessible and moving poems. Here's just one example.


by Lois Parker Edstrom

She said she had always wanted to do it;
throw away dirty dishes rather than wash them
and she did, after breakfast, toss the blue, green,
orange, and yellow Fiestaware into the trash.
Transferring from New York to Germany
with her husband and children,
the movers coming that day, she chucked the dishes
in among the banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds,
bits of bacon, paper towels and called it good.
What she could not know is that a young mother
in that very town received a much needed set
of tableware when her husband returned
home from work that evening. Bright dishes
that showed up chipped and grubby
like old friends with egg on their faces.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem © 2016 by Lois Parker Edstrom, 'Doing Dishes,' from Night Beyond Black, (MoonPath Press, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Lois Parker Edstrom and the publisher. Introduction © 2017 by the Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-06.

◄ 'I extract each melodic tooth and sort them in octaves for rinsing'

This is Not A Rescue: Emily Blewitt, Seren ►


Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Tue 15th Aug 2017 17:03

It's refreshing to read the delightfully varied poems from
this source - like this one, with its rewarding "waste not,want not" theme.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message