Seventeen years I stared out my window at you,

so like any other dumpster. You battle-worn ship,

all scraped and scuffed, your lid flipped open

revealing one huge cube of emptiness. 


All the ruckus you made being pushed

into your parking place. One wheel roped on,

you wobbled miserably.  I’m tired of the young.


My new view is a sycamore complete with seed balls.


The tree, too symbolic with her waxy spring leaves,

but you, squat and heavy, said:

I’m just an old dumpster.  Don’t mind me.

I loved you for that, my plain comrade.


All those days I accomplished nothing, you remained

doubtless: There would be waste. I especially liked

the cabbage heads dumped in by the bodega worker, 

the soft plop of the unselected.


You withstood the graffiti, the slander.

A fake Latin Kings crown scribbled by local

Greek kids.  The heart with 4-ever sprayed inside.

You were there when my father died. It rained sardines.


Remember the cat carcass I could never work into a poem?

The tree is nodding. But what does she know

of life’s drudgery? Always blooming and fading,

whispering: Change,  grow, be natural. 


I miss your old crates, plastic bags, rotten tomatoes

while I toiled to make art from air, filling the trashcan

with crumpled papers, mint wrappers, butts,

you never once demanded a metaphor


and I thank you.

Kim Farrar's recent work has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain, Salamander, and New Millennium Writings as well as other literary journals. Her chapbook, The Familiar, was published in August of 2011 by Finishing Line Press.

Many of my poems begin with some truth or image based in reality.  I did stare at a dumpster for many years in the alley that my writing desk faced.   The memory of the dumpster kept unexpectedly bubbling up after I moved away. Through writing the poem, which I began six years ago, I finally discovered why I missed it.




Copyright 2009