I sighed

before washing dishes

at my parents’ home in Kaneohe;

sheets of drying plastic wrap

must first be removed from the dish rack.

Mom reuses them to cover small plates

of pickled radish or boiled tofu.

“Poho throw away.”


The good cups, if used at all,

compete for space on this same rack

with plastic Aloha Airlines beverage cups

that missed the collection call for


when the stewardess came down the aisle

with a plastic bag.

“Still can use that’s why.

Poho throw away.”

The airlines went bankrupt years ago.

What’s for dinner?

The plastic cutlery that come

with the Zippy’s take out chili

and the McDonald’s takeout saimin,

stand ready for service

on the corner counter.

“Poho throw away.

Stay good. Still can use!”

The wedding silverware sits undisturbed

on a dusty shelf in a dark cabinet.

Wet paper towels,

bunched up by the sink.

“No joke Ma, you stay reusing that too?!”

But that’s just in the kitchen.

In the bathroom,

near the sink,

there’s that one string of dental floss…

Talk story

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