An Ode to Drawers

Frans_Francken_(II),_Kunst-_und_Raritätenkammer_(1636)I can’t be the only one who has trouble getting into drawers.

No, not those drawers; get your mind out of the gutter!

I mean the junk drawers, the catch-all drawers, the drawers that are oh-so-handy for storing the miscellany and bric-a-brac that accumulates on our desks and nightstands and coffee tables.

Eventually these drawers have more in common with a goblin hoard than anything else and are almost impossible to open without violence or high-energy explosives. Perhaps both.

This is their story:

                 An Ode to Drawers
              The Cabinet of Curiosity
They say that in days long gone by
  kings bent on increasing their wealth and fame
    would collect wonders of both land and sea
      in rooms designed to awe the viewer’s eye - 
        to never again see the world the same: 
          the Cabinet of Curiosity. 

These were the magical places - 
  a microcosmic theat’r of the world,
    the original memory palace
      in which to worship the world’s Three Graces. 
It was in this landscape the mind unfurled
  and dared to scale the heights of Daedalus.

These cabinets live on today,
  found in the homes of all those who cannot
    bear to part with one single, solit’ry
They are attuned to life’s great ballet,
  thus will not bear a thing to be forgot - 
    exalting both unique and ordinary.

Declare, O Drawer, the wonders 
  you contain and the detritus of life - 
    the forgotten bits and misplaced baubles – 
Proclaim, O Drawer, the mysteries and plunders
  pigeonholed inside. 
With valiant strife
  I pry at you; your case strains and wobbles.

Finally gaining entry to the hold
  of life’s forgotten treasures, I find there
    long-lost remnants of a life lived fully. 
While ‘tis a shame I find no hoarded gold, 
  I find loose change, pencils and pens to spare, 
    old batteries and papers stacked unruly, 

Old Christmas cards and past-due bills, 
  strange locks and keys that do not fit each other, 
    notebooks and fliers and take-out menus, 
      postcards and letters – e’en one from Brazil – 
        family photos sent by my brother; 
This drawer has no bottom, it always continues.

And though I might try to clean it
  someday, I know it is useless to try. 
No matter how much is removed from the
  drawer - no matter how hard I commit
    to decluttering life -  I’ll be that guy
      who saves everything, even debris.

I’ll be the first to admit that it gets hokey and off-rhythm, but don’t our drawers do the same? See what I did there? I’d claim it was intentional, but it wasn’t. And you know what? I don’t care. I had fun writing this piece; I hope you had as much fun reading it.

Blogging U Poetry

9 thoughts on “An Ode to Drawers

  1. I will continue to send photos and cards to contribute to the ongoing flotsam and jetsam in your Cabinet of Curiosities. With enough diligence, someday the entire collection will be valuable as “the collected life archive of RIMH”!

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