Another night he spends scrubbing the caked
remains of food from pans and trays, mopping
floors and taking out the trash. Here he stands:
shoes wet, collared polo shirt soaked with sweat,
long hair matted to his head by his hat.
A brief lull in the flow of dirty dishes
allows him to lift his forearm and wipe the
gathering dew drops of sweat from his brow.
He pauses and his attention falls to
the filth beneath his fingernails and the
damp, dark spots of grease peppering his apron.
He stoops to wash his hands but hesitates ––
too late –– another stack of plates appears
and this brief self-reflection evaporates.
By the end of the night these stainless
steel sinks will glisten and these floors will
shine as the dishwasher surveys his handiwork,
not without pride, and sighs while washing
his hands, his hopes scrubbed clean.
John Bogdal is a recent graduate of the University of the South where he studied English and Poetry. He lives in Nashville, TN and rolls sushi to pay the bills. Link to personal blog: https://thissideofpurgatoryblog.wordpress.com/