by Karen Friedland
Men exist invisibly in houses,
while women scour kitchen chair arms
and other surprising places
a film of filth might rest.
Men come and go,
while we scrub inside,
under and around toilets—
a secret skill imparted by osmosis by our mothers.
During quiet mornings, a woman might be found dusting,
or watering a small forest of houseplants
she herself created—
she might be seen straightening the crooked picture frames
of artwork she picked out long ago
to represent a singular vision of beauty.
Stealthily, we work to right what’s been wronged
by this crooked old world.
* * * * *
A grant writer by day, Karen Friedland has poems published in The Lily Poetry Review, Constellations, Nixes Mate Review, Writing in a Women’s Voice, Vox Populi and others. One of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and another was displayed on the walls of Boston’s City Hall. Her books are Tales from the Teacup Palace (Červená Barva Press) and Places That Are Gone (Nixes Mate Books). She lives in West Roxbury, MA.