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"RUBBISH"

by Terry

Winner of the Martha Robinson Poetry Competition 2001


I devote the morning to waste,
Lugging a months' slow vegetable gatherings
To Hannah's heap,
Crushing cartons and steel cans in the cellar,
Separating aluminium wheat with a magnet.

There's resistance
From jagged steel edges with rust for defence,
And the uncleaned plastic
Is rancid with old milk.
I am happy with a peasants' slow pleasure
Watching order appear.

1 am a minor miracle
Risen from the dead, recycled,
Each slow heartbeat of a day
More than they could have predicted
Or I could expect

I tend this waste
Where nothing is too small to notice or consider,
Accept, reject. grade. gather and harvest.
I rejoice in the world's debris,
Rubbish reborn,
Going on to hold the world
In a new form.
Recycling - you know it makes sense!