The Junkman

The odds and ends, the leftovers,
slightly rotted, too big or too short,
too thin or too wide, he gathers them up,
dumped upon his land; no sign reading,
“Dumping Forbidden.” He pulled it down,
putting in place, “Dumping Invited,”
with the malingering odor of disuse.
In it up to his neck, standing still,
he receives them; all of a kind in one spot,
all of another elsewhere—bringing like
together for strength. Every broken,
falling-apart scrap a place to fit in,
and all coming together a shape upon the
    land.

_____________

 

The Business Life

When someone hangs up, having said
to you, “Don’t come around again,”
and you have never heard the phone
bang down with such violence
nor the voice vibrate with such venom,
pick up your receiver gently and dial
again, get the same reply; and dial
again, until he threatens. You will
then get used to it, and be sick only
instead of shocked. You will live
then instead of die, have a pattern
to go by, familiar to
your ear, your senses and your dignity.

_____________

 

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