Urban portraits 1: the trash collector

trashCollector

Today I begin a new series of poetry that I call, ‘‘Urban portraits’’. Even though I have spent all of my life in urban areas, I personally have a slight aversion to living in the city though and would prefer living in the country or a town within the country. I have written the poems that you will read over the next few weeks as a testimony of the life that I have spent in the city, describing all the images that I’ve seen. Enjoy and if possible, tell me what you think.

City portrait I: the trash collector

By his hand,

 

visions of filthy, cluttered streets and homes

 

are left unfulfilled.

 

Yesterdays meal, excavated dust, shredded paper, plastic, –

 

fruits of our wasteful nature –

 

confront him.

 

Without bitterness or reluctance

 

he hauls it away, like a modern slave

 

to this material empire, far beyond our hygienic, polished lids.

 

And in his high-rise domicile

 

with hourly pay deposited,

 

does he yearn for a better future?

 

Or is he cheerful and content at the trade

 

he considers his magnum opus,

 

his badge of honor,

 

which prosperous men mock as a standard of failure

 

and to which even ambition-less beings dare not aspire?

 

Regardless,

 

Cleansing our blemished streets

 

is his forte.

 

And in a world in want of perfection,

 

a humble, proud distinction.

 

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