The United States relatively before the 21st century was an extremely sexist society. This meant that females only belonged in one place; the kitchen. Boland’s main motive for writing this poem is to depict the everyday life a usual woman. A woman’s main/only duties were once to clean, cook and take care of the children. This poem begins by comparing the kitchen to an extremely loud place where cleaning is taking place. The process of cleaning use to be all a woman knew. When the cleaning process begins, the kitchen takes a different form. It is full of life and there are no signs of inactivity. Once everything is cleaned and the kitchen is quiet, the only thing present in silence. Boland compares this silence to death and compares the cleanliness to a mortuary.