sacrament of the mundane

for tonia–at her sink

The Zen of Housework by Al Zolynas

I look over my own shoulder
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.

My hands lift a wine glass,
holding it by the stem and under the bowl.
It breaks the surface
like a chalice
rising from a medieval lake.

Full of the grey wine
of domesticity, the glass floats
to the level of my eyes.
Behind it, through the window
above the sink, the sun, among
a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches,
is setting in Western America.

I can see thousands of droplets
of steam — each a tiny spectrum — rising
from my goblet of grey wine.
They sway, changing directions
constantly — like a school of playful fish,
or like the sheer curtain
on the window to another world.

Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!


  1. oh my! such a treat! i am in love with poetry about home….”grey wine of domesticity…” yes, indeed.

    thank you darling.

  2. This poem really captures the essence of the sacred ordinary. And, what is it about standing at the kitchen sink facing the window, with our back to the home/family, that draws us into meditation? I love doing dishes!

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