My mother believed in the strength of labor
over love, she'd torture each microbe, disappear dust
on two bent knees bearing down on a faux marble floor.
And when it was scrubbed beyond question,
past reason, she'd call Su—san, handing me a faded rag
and ancient tin of something cool as resin:
A blue-green glaze to brush across the burnished forms
of copper reaching out beneath the breakfast bar;
at four, I played a worker cursing the ravaged stars.
Causes Susan Rich Supports
Doctors Without Borders; Amnesty International, Oxfam America, Barack Obama , Whit Press