Collecting Garbage: On Tuesday Morning in the Summer — Thomas Erickson

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Holding on to
the side of
the truck we
zoom
to the next
corner.

My hair
flops in the breeze;
the sweat dries
on my forehead.
I leap
to the curb
tossing
two wet plastic
bags of grass
into
the bin. A can
corn cobs
gnawed bones
watermelon
and beans is
sprinkled with
white maggots.

Another
can is
stacked with Time
magazines
books and
newspapers. I
sort through the
books and
salvage two. The
final can contains
charcoal ashes.
As I pour
the ash,
the dust showers
over me.
Shirtless,
sweaty, I am
covered by gray soot.


 

Thomas Erickson 150x150Thomas J. Erickson received a BA from Beloit College in English Composition and a law degree from Marquette University. His poems have appeared in numerous publications including The Los Angeles Review, Quiddity International Literary Review, Mad Poet’s Review, The New Poet, and Slant. His chapbook, “The Lawyer Who Died in the Courthouse Bathroom” (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin Libraries) was awarded second place in the 2013 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Contest. He is an attorney in Milwaukee where he is a member of the Hartford Avenue Poets. 

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