Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Yesterday a dumpster came to sit
outside our new house.

Todd and I threw away old boards
with rusty nails and
garbage bags full of dry wall.

We hauled as much as we could
into the dim light because
finding a half-empty dumpster
is your lucky day
here in the city.

As we locked up, a man from down the street
was already throwing in an old box spring.
We could picture the thing filled up by morning
with three old sofas and a couple of bookshelves.

But minus another mattress and a coffee table and
a few bags of trash, maybe a door
the dumpster was mostly ready on our return.

By mid-morning while I was dragging
another load of demolished wall onto the street
three guys came by with a trash bag and a baby stroller.

"Miss...you got any metal we can have?"
Sure. Help yourself, I said pointing to the dumpster.

Two of them scrambled in
throwing out anything resembling metal
on to the street so guy #3
could organize it into the baby stroller.

Eventually they were on their way
metal poking out all sides of the carriage
as they rolled up the block.

This neighborhood--
it gives and it takes away.


Blogger Kathleen said...

well captured.

where is this dumpster? cuz paul and i need to get rid of some stuff, too. lol

6:45 PM  
Anonymous anna said...

oh em.
what a beautiful and accurate glimpse into the life of a baltimorian:)
there is something so beautiful about that. and i don't know if its the way you told it .. or the interaction itself.. but somehow... you just turned a dumpster into something beautiful.
and it made me smile :)
love you.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous KMS said...

I love this poem! I vote you send it to the Urbanite!

You got to be careful with saying yes to metal men. They might have carefully marked down your house number and plan to come back to finish the job. As my father in law says everytime he sees me, "You got an alarm system yet?" J/K.

I also appreciate Anna's tactful description of a Baltimorian as opposed to a Baltimoron. : )

12:03 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

The actually didn't get any of the good stuff. Some other guy who came by got the copper pipes. :)

1:37 PM  

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