The Trash Man
I’d hoped it was the machine that would suck up the leaves
that I’d raked toward the curb all morning.
It was the garbage truck.
As I filled the bird feeder
I glanced at the heavy black trash bags
I’d dragged to the curb in the brisk November dark.
Sometimes I make a HEAVY sign and attach it with frog tape -
afraid a worker might get a bulging disc handling them.
I couldn’t handle that.
A motor roars, and brakes squeal.
I hurry toward the three monoliths.
“Careful!“ I wave as a young man jumps from the cab of the truck.
“They’re heavy!” I shout.
He gingerly lifts and tosses the first into the bin.
As he feathers the others up and in, like the leaves I’d been moving,
he flashes a beautiful smile into the crisp sunlight.
“These are nothing!
But thanks for the warning!
Have a great weekend!”
And he roars into the day to keep our suburban lives – predictably tidy.
Lately, I don’t listen to TV and the radio.
After Paris, I want only to address my immediate life and surroundings.
Somehow, though, this exchange with the trash man,
was blessedly reassuring.
Above the din of daily life, above the clamor of world events,
I know I am not alone.I hear America working.