Erika Chan

A Jar

I often go unnoticed.
Simply a medium for holding things.
from peanut butter to pickles to marbles.
I’ll take anything you give me
and even things I don’t want.

While I am fragile,
it takes a lot for me to break.
I am reused over and over,
not like those plastic, disposable containers
pliable, wasteful, and clearly not dishwasher safe.

Often it’s hard to see the contents
behind my label
wrapped so tightly around my exterior.
Really, I’m not all that complex though.
Just cold, hard glass with a lid on top
to keep all my secrets inside.

Until they pry my lid open,
people can only see the label and read its false truths
to differentiate between me and that other brand.
Eventually, though, they’ll realize
that an olive is an olive
and all brands of peanut butter taste the same.

But would I rather have them judge me by what I have inside,
or by what my label tells them?
Because when I’m empty,
I look just like everyone else in the cupboard.
But when filled with all my contents,
it is clear to see that I am much different
than that other jar
full of fluff.


Copyright 2002-2007 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2007 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.