IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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EIGHT. DOING THE DISHES

Jeanne Lohmann

We lived in so many houses, Gloria: Indiana Avenue, Summit and Fourth, the double on Hudson Street. And that upstairs apartment on North High we rented from Armbruster's. Mother thought it Elizabethan, romantic, with its leaded glass windows and wood-beamed ceilings. Our entrance was at the side, at the top of stairs that creaked late at night when we came home from our dates. You had more of these than I did, even if I was older. It was 1943, and our brother Harry was in the Navy. I'd had a year away at college, and you were still in high school. On this particular night in the kitchen, doing the supper dishes, you drying while I washed, you told me that your friend Monabelle had a premature baby, and you'd been there, helped to find a shoebox to put the baby in. I tried to imagine this, kept seeing the cardboard box with the baby, Monabelle bleeding and crying. You didn't want our parents to hear, so we talked softly while we put the dishes in the drainer on the sink and hung the towels to dry. The pilot light on the range burned purple blue and I saw both of us new in that light, you with so much to teach me, my self-absorbed studious life, so intent on saving the world.

 
 
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