No subject is too mundane to not be potentially transcendental. At least in the early hours of the day, when you really are a night owl. But it was still dark when poetry practice called.


Everyone has got one.
That drawer full
of catchall, untamed, uncategorised
bits, bobby pins, bats, half-chewed rubber balls.

I heard a psychiatrist on the radio recount
strategy with a a suicidal patient’s call
during another client’s fifty minutes.
She said just go an tidy a drawer until
She’d ring back in twenty.
He was calmer on the call back.
He had dispensed with death
as a persuasive option
when appraising the matched and folded array
of an ordered sock drawer.

We all have that drawer.
Sometimes we empty the contents
into a box
and slide it under the bed,
or to the back of a closet,
out into the shed,
or the far cobwebbed corner of the garage
where all our memories go.

There go the night terrors.
There are the dreams where clocks melt,
mildew thrives,
animals speak, along with long-lost loves.
Dislodged identities fly out
with the moths
that camphor could not combat.

I once found my long dead father
in a drawer.
It was good to visit
the ineffable
just for a little while.
I did not open my parents’ love letters.
They were left unread.
It was good to know they were there.

Fifteen years later
when I checked
they were gone.

When all the drawers are emptied,
or the house burnt down,
the storage unit lease run out,
with photos gone, the phone mislaid,
the collected memorabilia of lifetimes

What will be the last talisman
to touch and stay the rising confusion?
Would it be bric-a-brac or bone china?
Mine would be seashell and stone.
One to worry in my pocket or line my purse.
One to put to my ear
to hear the tide roll by.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

2 thoughts on “Drawer

  1. Oh Bee you were up early ,(like myself, but I was wakened by the wind rattling)
    Your poem struck a strong cord, at 5.45 am I was cleaning out cupboards and drawers .
    The contents of which were more mundane , Spelt flour best by Oct 2016 , etc
    Hope you are running Word Alchemy this winter Betty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Sojourning Smith and commented:

    In a chat with someone this week I characterised 2019 as the ‘Stuck or Chuck’ year. Many complain of feeling stuck and not achieving lift off. Meanwhile, others, including ourselves, have had a huge over haul of ‘stuff’. And while it has been hard to get things to completion on some tasks, or a real struggle to, on balance I would say this is the year of ‘chuck’. We have been through so many drawers and cupboards. Yes, there are some boxes remaining. Yes, the kitchen cupboards need their annual overhaul still.

    How would you characterise 2019?


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