Exhaustion pulls and weighs me down,
Dinner is done and everyone disappears
Leaving dishes and clean up
To my tired mind.
Can’t they tell I need help?
Can’t they see the weariness
Pressing into the creases of my brow
And the lines of my downturned mouth?
I can call them, name by name,
Bring them back to do the chores
They know very well to do–
But it feels heavier to open my mouth.
Instead, I stand at the sink,
the angle making my back ache,
As I barely stop my hands
from slamming the dishes into the water.
I slow as I near the end,
Tears dripping from the edges of my eyes.
Frustration turns to prayers,
“What’s wrong with me, Lord?”
Why can’t I just serve with joy?
Why can’t I request help without annoyance?
Why can’t I leave things for another, less stressful, time?
Why am I so angry over dishes and counters?
Like a whisper His presence
Steps closer, or maybe that was me?
“You’re tired,” he seems to say, “and I see you.”
Truth races through the air and settles.
I’m angry because I feel unseen,
Like the work is done by a ghost,
Like my labor is valueless but required,
Like I’m the only one who cares and am forgotten.
But even the unseen are seen
by the One who brings light to the shadows.
Even the forgotten are known,
By the One who sees the sparrow fall.
Alone? The whisper of truth grows louder,
“Whatever you do to the least of these,
you do to me.” and maybe, perhaps
He means, “WITH me” as well?
Tomorrow we’ll try again,
The One-Who-Sees-Me and me,
To ask for help (without anger)
With dishes and counters.
But in the meantime I am known,
Appreciated and understood,
Seen by the One-Who-Never-Fails-To-See
The mom at the kitchen sink alone.
“Dishes and Counters” by Natasha Metzler