Trash Day by Janet Barry

It is only that today is trash day. I hoped you would remember. Time to remove.

We used to call it the dump. Back your truck up to the pile and fling your trash 
at the mountain. People went there to see the bears. Rummage. To see each other.

On a Saturday morning, I found. A fine tire, one Spring day, which I brought home, drilled a hole in the bottom, attached an arrow to a rope, shot it up over the high bow

of a beech tree and attached it to the top and the kids squealed and screamed as I
pushed them on their tire swing and afterwards there were cookies and a later dinner and I

thinking about bears that night. How they snuffle and care more about berries than meat. Eat ants. In the news there was a story of a mamma bear who was afraid for her babies.

Put them up in a tree, in the way that bears do. To keep them safe and then she faced her aggressors who thought her unaccountably vicious and shot her dead. It is only that

we call it the Transfer Station now. Fling our plastic bags into a metal maw designed 
to crunch and crush anything that cannot be recycled. I hoped you would do the sorting.

Because soda bottles and aluminum foil are just crumpled forms of desire. Used. Reuse. Because bears are such fools for things like mushrooms, willow branches, cannot believe

in anything that does not know the Sun as translated by leaf mold or fireflies. On a Saturday morning I found a dozen trash barrels by the side of the road I was glad

you left them there. The kids were busy with removal and with all things removed. To the sea. Purge. Let the fireflies constantly remap our porch screens. The tire swing

flail beneath summer-storm thunder. It is only that bears can smell so very well.

Janet Barry
streamimageJanet Barry is a musician and poet with works in numerous journals and anthologies including Ragged-Sky Press, Off-the-Coast, Cider Press Review, Canary, Adventus, Edge, and New Mirage Journal. She serves yearly as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, and has received Pushcart Prize nominations for her poems “Winter Barn” and “Commandment” Janet holds a BM in organ performance and an MFA in poetry. To see more of her work, please visit