I used to write
looking in the mirror, peering
out from behind the bars of these walls.
I used to see them
in the kitchen,
by the stove, seated:
docile at the table. Their chairs
were always a little
or maybe they just weren't there.
They'd wash--no scrub--
their hands among the dishes
until their manicures bled.
Then they'd stack the porcelain
in a heap out by last night's
rubbish and tomorrow's
Sometimes they'd smile
to themselves; a chuckle of menial
labor. But other times they'd cry
and groan and moan out the next
generation of household
women. I used to see
them everywhere. I wonder where