Monday, August 26, 2013

Trash talking

photo of black chokeberry awaiting compost mulch
© harrington
Hi. Let's get straight to today's question, shall we? That is: "9.    Where does your garbage go?" The straightforward answer is: The garbage (food waste) goes to the compost heap along with the yard waste and eventually becomes soil enrichment helping us to grow more food. Our post-consumer recycling is picked up and presumably (I've never followed the truck) goes to an aggregation/bundling center and then to processing facilities. Our trash goes to the local sanitary landfill, located one municipality south of us. We also participate in a rural equivalent of a "freecycle" by taping "FREE" signs to still usable but no longer wanted items and leaving them by the road. See why it's essential to clarify what's meant by "garbage" to answer this question? Ted Kooser nicely mixes these meanings and more in this poem:

In the Basement of the Goodwill Store

By Ted Kooser
In musty light, in the thin brown air   
of damp carpet, doll heads and rust,   
beneath long rows of sharp footfalls   
like nails in a lid, an old man stands   
trying on glasses, lifting each pair
from the box like a glittering fish   
and holding it up to the light
of a dirty bulb. Near him, a heap   
of enameled pans as white as skulls   
looms in the catacomb shadows,   
and old toilets with dry red throats   
cough up bouquets of curtain rods.

You’ve seen him somewhere before.   
He’s wearing the green leisure suit   
you threw out with the garbage,   
and the Christmas tie you hated,   
and the ventilated wingtip shoes   
you found in your father’s closet   
and wore as a joke. And the glasses   
which finally fit him, through which   
he looks to see you looking back—
two mirrors which flash and glance—
are those through which one day
you too will look down over the years,   
when you have grown old and thin   
and no longer particular,
and the things you once thought   
you were rid of forever
have taken you back in their arms.
Tomorrow we'll be halfway through the quiz when we answer question "10.    How long is the growing season where you live?" Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily, often with a rasher of poetry.