by Patric Pepper

Trash Day

These minutes wherein the sparrows space themselves
end to end up the guy-wire of the telephone pole
in the alley, and across the telephone wire’s perfect
parabola, so as to descend and rise toward the other side,
as they come, go, make spaces along the wire, then

return to fill the spaces above the vital trash collectors
who move with a boisterous dutiful clear ambivalence
for the rubbish of Ward 5, D.C., USA, Earth, Milky Way.

These minutes,

wherein men don’t pause  below a quietude of sparrows,
but shout, over hydraulic groan & diesel growl, to the day-
dreaming driver, “Move it up . . . Yo! Move it up!”
The quiet noisy proceedings of today silence my guilt for
thinking so much, and liking so much the little I’ve done

these minutes.


Harry’s Poem

In Harry’s poem the black-backed gull,
that lands on Harry’s sea wall, and sits
like a grandchild who watches grandpa,
is someone who has gone before him,
who has returned today to tell him

he doesn’t know what. But he feels it,
whatever it is, as he struggles to repair
the wind-torn lattice alongside his deck.

In Harry’s poem—

an improbable, certainly inexplicable,
storyline behind him now—I ask him,
“Who?” He doesn’t know. “Is it Joan,
Harry?” He doesn’t know. “If I go first
I’ll visit, too,” I say. Glad I was included

in Harry’s poem.


Photo by abhishek gaurav from Pexels