About “In the Drawer”
Back in one of my college poetry workshops, I wrote the following original poem entitled, “In the Drawer.” The assignment was the write a short poem, no more than fifteen lines, and it was by far one of the more difficult assignments for me to complete seeing as I have a tendency to be wordy.
But this poem over time has become one of my favorites. Though short, it says a lot. There are a couple of parts that could be shifted or changed around, and it is by no means a perfect poem, but the message is clear. Just because things look nice and neat on the outside doesn’t mean they are on the inside.
On top of being a topic of pop cultural discussion, the disparity between what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside has deep biblical roots. In Matthew 23:27-28, Jesus says to the pharisees: “‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.'”
An outward display of righteousness does not equate to inner rightness with God.
Instead of approaching life from the outside in, we should allow God to work inside of us. It is from there that His goodness overflows in our lives, and we find an outward state that mirrors the inner joy and peace that only He can bring.
In the Drawer
Upon throwing your things
into the drawer in the bathroom
I’m relieved by the clean look
and pride I feel at being
a good wife.
But my own reflection in the glass
behind the toothpaste spit stains stares,
in a marble stone smug voice,
beyond the splattered bathroom mirror
in the deep deep me that knows
to choose my words more wisely;
nice and neat and clean
do not mean the same thing.