Iain Macdonald

Alongside the Dumpster

Today, a pair of snow boots
in surprisingly good shape;
yesterday, a mattress
with the usual suspicious staining.

Every day, it seems
someone from the apartments
leaves something
for someone else to glean.

Furniture shows up most—
drunken bookshelves and the like,
but discarded electronics—
computers and their parts,
come close behind.

Some objects beg questions.

Who, for example, abandoned
the deflated “pleasure doll”?
And who, God help us,
picked it up?

Why did someone
paint all those watercolors
only to leave them
bleeding in the rain?

And as for the child
whose neatly folded
T-shirts and dresses
sit stacked beside the trash—
where is she now?
Whatever in this world
has become of her?

History Lesson

When our dog died,
I dug her grave
with pick and shovel;
even through leather gloves
my hands blistered,
then bled.

fresh grass conceals
the upturned earth,
unblemished flesh
denies the wound.

Again and again,
memory persists
as bones within the soil,
scars beneath the skin.

about the author


13.1 (Fall 2008)   The 2River View