Andrea Yate’s Children Take a Bath

After I go to the bathroom, I leave my hands wet as proof I washed them.” – Jarod Kintz

I can feel them.
Covering my skin
in a clumpy,
pasty coating.
— I am dirty.

Get them off.
My skin is covered in
growing globs of
dirt and rust.
His car is gone,
finally left for work.
It’s time.
— I am dirty.

I fill the tub,
about three inches
from the top,
and call my
To order.
The middle ones go first.
five years
like damp plywood
under the floorboards.
— I am dirty.

Years Three and Two
went second and third.
A blur of washing,
the used bath water
depriving them of time.
Each one—
a clump of dirt
stuck to me.

I cleanse myself.
the easiest clump
to rid myself of.
I wonder if the bath
reminds her of the womb,
my womb,
she left six months ago.
— I am dirty.

Noah, he ran.
Stupid child.
A stain seeping into
my pores for the last
seven years.
Not surprising that
it took some skin with it
when I washed it away.
— I am still dirty.

The only proof of
my cleansing attempt
is the bath water
that drips from
my fingertips.
I call the other mud maker—
“you better come home.”

Tina Vorreyer


Hlavaty, Craig. “13 Years Later, the Andrea Yates Drownings Still Haunt,” Craig Hlavaty, The Houston Chronicle, 20 June 2014.

Kintz, Jarod. This Book Title Is Invisible, (Orafoura, translator) Amazon Kindle, 2012.


Tina Vorreyer, graduate of Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), has been published in four anthologies by Z Publishing (2017–2019), Black Works Issue #2 (July 2019), Not Very Quiet Issue #4 (March 2019), Riza Press’s “Project Healthy Love” online showcase (January 2019), and is Poet’s Choice’s September Poetic Musings Contest Winner.

© 2020