Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Dump Pickers
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Bruce Guernsey of Bethel has appeared twice before in the Take Heart column. Today he offers a group portrait of a family at the dump.
The Dump Pickers by Bruce Guernsey
On Sundays carting my trash to the dump I’d see them swarming the piles like gnats, a whole family of pickers straight from Mass: Dad’s suit, white as the noon sky, Junior in a polka-dot tie – in bright, patent leathers his small, pale sister.From the highest of piles Mother shouted orders through a paper cup, the men hurrying under her red, high heels, dragging metal to the pickup, the little girl giggling, spinning on her toes through the blowing paper like a dancer, a little twist of wind in the dust.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Bruce Guernsey. Reprinted from Rain: Poems, 1970-2010, Ecco Qua Press, 2012 by permission of Bruce Guernsey. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.