Reader Poetry: One Man’s Treasure


One Man’s Treasure

By Betsy Barr

Dumpster in the driveway
of the cozy single-family home
around the corner.
I remember seeing an old couple living there;
I didn’t know them, we never spoke.
There was a young peach tree
in the front yard for awhile
but then it was cut down.
I’d noticed birds nesting under the
air conditioner in the top window, and the
plastic cover rotting away,
an air of neglect coming over the place.
Now, heaps of items, in black trash bags
and without, tumble into the dumpster.
A few things fell out –
a woman’s shoe, a compact,
the top from a pill bottle – perhaps
from that final illness
that made the place go quiet.
Sad, to see these people gone,
and all the items of their lives –
the old TV set they watched,
things they’d worn, they’d touched,
they’d loved –
Tossed away, like so much
useless garbage.
And to realize that,
someday, this will
be our story, too.