I’m cleaning the bathroom
It’s amazing how you can ignore grime
Until it reaches a certain pitch
Then you’re vengeful
Rubbing out the blight with vigor.
I clean with my mother in mind
Thinking how spotless she kept her house and how
I could never match her enthusiasm
For washing a floor or cleaning a window.
I spray the mirror
Not an unpleasant smell.
As I wipe, the world is smeared into a fog
An impressionist painting of a bathroom
Rubbing out the splashes of toothpaste foam
Her arm flesh rolls in a rhythmic dance
Her face emerges from the smears
Crow’s feet at the corners of her eyes
Wrinkles are changing the shape of her mouth
I see my mother, my sister, my aunt.
I smile at her
She smiles back
Time is etched on her face
But behind those eyes
She is ageless.
Image credit: Gabriela Camerotti via Flickr (CC)