Envy by Jennifer Abod


New Haven, Connecticut, 1979

I hate washing dishes,
but for her, it’s meditation,
where she choreographs,
imagines her next moves.

That first summer,
I lean into Angela’s kitchen doorway,
the Victorian house
where she mothers two young children,
raised two girls, rescued from abuse,
mourned her first-born son, Kippy,
killed at three, by a drunk driver.
I can’t believe she’s let me in.

Water trickles into the
double porcelain sink.
Pink calico curtains
flutter in the breeze.

I admire her dancer’s back,
shapely legs, sandaled feet,
bare-brown arms in
her butter-yellow linen,

Standing in her doorway,
as her hands caress
each plate,
I cannot believe,
how jealous I am
of every soapy dish.


Jennifer Abod, Ph.D. is an award-winning producer/director of both film and radio. Two of her four documentary films feature major poets of second wave feminism: Audre Lorde and Kitty Tsui. Abod organized and hosted the first virtual poetry reading featuring Lesbian Widows in 2021. Abod’s poetry appears in Sinister Wisdom and One Art. She is reading her poetry as part of OUTWRITE 2022 this month. She is working on her first poetry manuscript.

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