O kitchen! my kitchen! the meal at last is ended,
My babes are fed, my husband says the chicken was well tended.
Our bellies full, the empty bowls boast of a job well done;
The efforts of this mother's love down hatches one by one;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the blood red stains abounding!
Where in the sink the dishes lie
and set my soul to dreading!
O kitchen! my kitchen! the heart-place of my home!
What gives? In you I slave all day and yet my work's not done:
The stove top sneers, the counter jeers, the floor is whistling cat-calls;
The dirty towels, like heavy jowls, drip with the juice of apples!
Look, kitchen! O prison!
With your chicken remnants threading
Like fingers 'round my tired heart,
You set my soul to dreading!
My kitchen does not answer, yet its mockery continues;
My kitchen does not feel my pain, yet winks through smeared-up windows.
The family fed, tucked snug in bed, knows nothing of this struggle;
This war of sorts, waged not in ports--this quintessential battle . . .
Defend the home front, mother, dear!
I shall, with stalwart tread
Clean this kitchen in the morn;
Right now, I'm off to bed.
Yeah, I robbed it all from that guy, but he deserved it.