because I know it must seem like any other sink
full of dishes. Maybe worse.
Avocado shells float through the wreckage
of lunch, bright orange macaroni clings to plates
jutting out amid half-hearted suds, and some pale
bloated noodles met their watery grave already
sunken below in a tangle of forks.
But you see, these dirty dishes
are the picture of time I didn’t spend
washing them, time spent instead
this afternoon on the couch, arms full
of napping daughters.
The three of us, combined like a crayon creature
my toddler would draw—three heads,
three pairs of arms and legs,
sprawling and intertwined.
I held my children there for hours
in the stillness of their sleep, wondering
what colors their dreams were.
Iridescent, maybe tropical I guessed
as I watched their eyelids flutter
like the fins of tiny fish.
— Ramona McCallum
Ramona McCallum earned her B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Kansas State University in 1999. She currently lives in Garden City, Kansas with her husband Brian McCallum, a ceramic artist, and their 6 children. Ramona works as her husband’s editor and artist’s assistant, and she also teaches 7th grade English Communication and Poetry at a local middle school. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Organization and Environment and Zone 3.