Opening Drawers
by Loretta Diane Walker


Maybe haste is the nimble-fingered juggler
snatching scarves as I pull them out of the drawer.
A kaleidoscope of fabrics leap through the air
then pile on my bed. The soft colors press together
the way words do in closed books.
Not here.

I open a sister drawer, see a squint of silver
wedged in the corner. A necklace has slipped
from its pouch the way the first moment of morning does
when the desire to sleep is stronger than the desire to wake.
Did haste clumsily draw the mouth shut?
Is this how it slipped into the light? No matter.
Not there.

I stretch the necklace to its full length, leave it on the dresser,
search one more drawer, find a hodgepodge of treasures—
a Cross pen/pencil set, penny passports, a silver charm bracelet
and other things the oak bottom and I will keep to ourselves.

Curious how opening drawers is like opening life,
finding beautiful trinkets of pleasure while searching
for the bland amulet of need.

With urgency nagging at me and the clock gnawing my heels,
I wrap a brown wool scarf around my neck,
grab the matching coat and feel a bulge in one pocket.
My gloves!

How glorious to find protection after preparing to walk
into the world with bare knuckles, bracing myself
for a frigid winter handshake.






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