Ode to the dishwasher  



(On this Thanksgiving morning, you might enjoy this wonderful poem from a Canadian mother, on the philosophy, nay, the very theology, of washing dishes, a noble act filled with spiritual significance.  I do not own a dishwasher, and hope never to. So on with the scrubbing, and a joyful Thanksgiving to all!  Gratias Deo! Ed.)

Hail Valiant Knight of the Modern Maid!

With your scouring power you come to our aid.

Saving us from rawness and dryness of hand

Or sore feet as for countless hours we stand

Scrubbing, and washing and rinsing the dishes

The dear Lord has heard and answered our wishes.

Instead of cleaning the millions of plates and cups and spoons

Because of your efforts we can clean other rooms.

Or tend to the concerns of a babe’s scraped knee

Or by heavens even enjoy a blessed cup of tea!

A fearless defender of your maiden’s sanity you fight

The battles of dishes as you work through the night.

Tireless you are in your pursuit of the good

A beautiful clean kitchen is your goal as it should

Be to save your maiden from the treacherous tower

Of dishes that pile up, up, up by the hour!

I could sing of your praises by night and by day

And how Zita’s merits must have brought you our way.

A friend of all good housewives and working womenfolk

You give us the time for a laugh and a joke.

And so with a Hail! And a Hurrah! To your work

We praise the Lord God for this contemporary perk.


But alas! I write as only one who day dreams

Of the conveniences and comforts that a dishwasher seems

To bring those who have its modernistic defence

And, sigh, with my hand washing I must commence.


I will continue to walk through the muck and the mirk

And learn to accept my duties without shirk.

And yet in this dirty water I begin to see

A cathedral, a cross: eternity.

In silence I gaze out my country window

Appreciate the beauty, a gentle wind blow.

And so with each dish comes a scrub and a prayer

For soul that God loves, or a cause that needs care.

And though I must say my heart longs for your ease

And how I wish that my Saviour would answer my pleas

For you to rescue me from my cross and my fate

A soul can be saved from the washing of a plate.






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D. Santos is a primary & secondary school educator by trade, housewife by choice and homeschooling mother of 3 (soon to be 4!) children. In between the never ending towers of dishes, mountains of laundry and wiping sticky children's faces, she aspires to find time to read about writing and write about things she has read. She has a passion for Classical Education, relearning the art of homemaking and creating the home to be a sacred space that follows the Liturgical life of the Church.