Thursday, January 27, 2011
THIRD WEEK IN JANUARY
Today they came to pick up the dead in a shiny
white Mack trash truck from our municipal complex.
Some of these trees have been on the curb for weeks.
Once the center of attention, focus of the celebrations
with its special corner of the living room, decorated with
ornaments, some family heirlooms, souvenirs of past trips,
a child’s project from first grade, lights that blink sometimes.
Captured in holiday photos we never print, but take anyways.
Always in the background when we post to social network pages
and send as email attachments to the scattered and distant.
The driver and his young helper take turns getting out of the cab.
Carhartt jackets, fluorescent green caps, waterproof work boots.
Trying hard to look cool, not wanting to look like they’re working.
But it’s hard to look dignified when you’re tugging at the trunk of
somebody’s old tree covered over and frozen in a foot of snow.
I can’t resist rolling down my window when the truck drives by,
even though temps are in the single digits this Monday morning.
I want to smell the garbage truck, full of mashed up evergreens
going down my street leaving a scented trail like they’ve got a million
miniature pine tree air fresheners hanging from its rearview mirror.