Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Tomorrow is garbage day in Lindenhurst. Every Monday I hear the diesel engine, the grind of brakes stopping at every house, the clangs of trash cans and recycling bins emptying into the dumpster. Sometimes I notice the guys hopping out to deal with the bins, but usually I don’t. I’ve got children and brand new trash to deal with inside the house.

That’s right–I often forget to notice people, especially the predictable servants of our neighborhoods who clean up after us, deliver our mail, and plow our streets. What a miracle, really, that we’re all made in God’s image yet have the opportunity to move in and out of each other’s lives so freely, that we can pray for strangers, encourage them with the simplest of gestures, and capture them eternally in a poem.

Eamon Grennan’s poem, “Wing Road,” made me think about trash day a bit differently this week:

Wing Road

Amazing, how the young man who empties
the dustbin ascends the truck as it moves
away from him, rises up like an angel
in a china-blue check shirt and lilac
woollen cap, dirty work-gloves, rowanberry
red bandanna flapping at his throat. He plants
one foot above the mudguard, locks his
left hand to steel bar stemming
from the dumper’s loud mouth and is borne
away, light as a cat, red leg dangling,
the dazzled air snatching at that black-
bearded face. He breaks into a smile, leans
wide and takes the morning to his puffed
chest, right arm stretched far out, a checkered
china-blue wing gliding between blurred earth
and heaven, a messenger under the locust trees
that stand in silent panic at his passage. But
his mission is not among the trees: he has
flanked both sunlit rims of Wing Road
with empty dustbins, each lying on its side,
its battered lid fallen beside it, each
letting noonlight scour its emptiness
to shining. Carried off in a sudden cloud
of diesel smoke, in a woeful crying out
of brakes and gears, a roaring of monstrous
mechanical appetite, he has left this unlikely
radiance straggled behind him, where the crows,
covening in branches, will flash and haggle.,


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