Friday, January 20, 2012

Every kitchen has a drawer...

Every kitchen has a drawer...
among the expired coupons
for cleaning spray
and dog food, clothing
care tags, and appointment
reminder cards from so long ago
they are
certainly, only
of limited
archaeological interest,
there it is:
the unexpected sculpture you
made that day you forgot
and let the pot boil dry
while you were
the baby bottles:
comic reminder of
the dangerous potential
of inattention.
Never could let it go.
cooking twine and strapping tape
batteries, drained or amped:
who knows?
A letter: "my darling," it begins,
"I have missed you so much,"
and though the words have
since proved false,
you continue to hope,
takeout menus from restaurants
long defunct
empty seed packets
a note to the fairies
surreptitiously intercepted
a calcium supplement
that you take every day,
when you can remember to take it
A phone number scrawled with a Sharpie,
ripped from a lined notebook,
"call on Friday," it says
"don't forget"
and you wonder if you did
a menu from an encounter
only you remember
a swatch of thick paper,
orange with silver swirls,
that might make an interesting
accent for a collage you might make
when you finally learn how to make a collage
grocery lists
Sharpie markers
The menu for your daughter's 6th birthday,
in her own careful hand:
pizza, carrot sticks, chocolate cake
with chocolate frosting. NOTHING ELSE!
unrequited loves
Every kitchen
has just such a drawer
Empty it out
Throw every bit away
It will make itself anew.


  1. yes will :)
    I love this. I clean out that drawer every few years and resolve to NOT collect and fill it again. I always do. Movie ticket stubs, a recipe I was sure I would try...ten years ago. Paint swatches, rubber bands, screws that I am sure I will remember where they need to go as soon as I throw them away...

    1. Dee, it amazes me how we recreate ourselves ... even when we tear down old structures or put ourselves into radically new situations, we quickly start to see evidence of our old selves. I tend to think of that kitchen drawer as the appendix of the house ... something we regard as insignificant or unnecessary, but which I suspect we'll learn years from now is absolutely essential.

  2. Whenever I empty my drawer I always end up *needing* what I've just tossed away. This is why I love the Internet because it's a drawer that never needs emptying, things just get lost in the layers. What I love is the idea that I can always go looking for what's missing, and, with a good deal of tenacity and a pinch of luck, find it.