Pam Lewis: At The Dishwashing Olympics

A hush now descends on the huge outdoor kitchen.
The audience breathlessly hopes for no glitch in
their favorite’s performance with lemon detergent.
Their desire for a Gold’s grown increasingly urgent..

He’s good with the sprayer and every technique.
His glassware is clean without leaving a streak.
With dimples, and muscles as well, he is hot,
Good for more than just scraping burnt cheese from a pot.

This dish-washing wunderkind’s really too tall.
His height gives no edge, as in pro basketball.
The press has explained this with fountains of ink:
he’s just so much farther away from the sink.

But natural-born talent makes up for his height.
He bears down on pans with an amplified might.
What could be a flaw in a much lesser man
enhances his strategy, style, and élan.

The judges are neutral, no bias allowed.
They risk loss of license if swayed by the crowd.
Just three of the numerous factors they heed:
how clean are his fork tines, his suds height, his speed.

The crowds really love him, there’s no doubt of that,
and clearly he’s also a skilled acrobat.
But is this sufficient, or will he be skimpy in
the peerless perfection that’s judged as Olympian?