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The Fruit of Her Hands This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Like the lady herself, the kitchen is a model of perfection. Shining ivory linoleumwarmly greets the soft morning light as her kitchen awakens. Eggs and baconsizzling in the cast-iron frying pan draw three sleepy figures to the massivewalnut table for breakfast. Her husband silently eats as her two childrenexcitedly prepare for the upcoming school day. By 8 a.m. her kitchen is empty -the children at school, her husband at work - and silent except for theoccasional "klink" as her hands, wrinkled and wet, clean the breakfastdishes one by one.

Breakfast chores completed, her daily drudgerycontinues. The recently drained sink refills with steaming hot water and lyesoap, spreading the clean smell of diluted bleach as she begins scrubbing thekitchen walls and floor. Yellow plastic gloves protect her reddened hands fromthe drying and cracking the cleansing mixture has inflicted many timesbefore.

After hours of scouring the kitchen, washing and folding laundry,making beds and lightly cleaning the living room, she arranges perfectly a plate,cup and saucer at the table for a small lunch. Beside her table-setting rests atablet of white paper with the heading "Groceries" and a pen lyingacross the light blue lines. For 20 minutes, the house is still. The small turkeysandwich and solitary cup of tea slowly disappear as her hand slowly fills thesoft blue lines of the list. Once the dainty lunch is finished, she quietlyclears her place and fills the counter with onions, celery and carrots fordinner.

The cream-colored walls and ivory floor cast a brilliant glow inthe late afternoon sun, as the muted clapping of a chef's knife rhythmicallystriking the cutting board signals the preparation of dinner. She finally takes acup of coffee to her place at the table to write a message to an old high-schoolfriend, as the mouth-watering aroma of dinner baking in the oven floods the room.Standing on the luminous linoleum, her dark brown workbench reflects the sun'srays in its polished surface. Combining summer sweetness with clean beauty, adelicately arranged rose and baby's breath centerpiece fills the confines of thecut-glass vase. Four walnut chairs surround their mistress in silent vigilance,waiting for their owners to seek rest on their cushions. For now, the chairsstand empty with the exception of one. Upon this proud throne sits their lady,her hands swaying, quietly composing a written symphony on a sheet of crisp ivorystationery. Her hands show the wear of countless years of labor, though her faceis that of a porcelain doll. Reddened by the washing of dishes, floors and walls,they are hidden by long sleeves that flow to her fingertips. The tendons of thesefinely wrought hands stand at attention to write a message, only to disappearwhen the pen is finally set aside.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Winters_Willow said...
Mar. 20, 2012 at 4:46 am
Very nice piece, I get the feeling that this is based on a real person. If so, nice descriptions. If not, very creative. ;)
 
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