The Gracious Garbage Man and the Golden Door
You patrol my neighborhood like the carved figurehead of old.
Balanced in reverse on your viridescent vessel.
Breaking your pose only long enough to gather the yesterdays refuse and rubbish.
Clothed in a buttoned up Oxford shirt tucked into and belted to your neatly, pleated pants.
The incongruity of your attire and task demand my attention.
Civilized yet indignant your bespectacled gaze searches my face for recognition.
Aching for dignity and respect from the neighbors and mothers like me who never ask you why?
It haunts me as I drive into my suburban apathy.
Who you were in another life?
An accountant, professor, tailor or lawyer?
Once upon a time you took great pride in your profession.
Before your country was disemboweled and it’s people cast like flotsam on the sea.
This new colossus refuses to acknowledge your education and experience.
Offering you shelter but looting your purpose.
You’ve lost home and dignity but you have hands.
You claim the work I begrudge and turn your shoulder to the plow.
Silently, you simply demand to be seen.
Daily daring me to ignore you.
You carry the scent of the cast-off on your sartorial finery.
The taint is decomposition worth it.
It reminds you of whom you are despite this new world of impossibility.
A simple nod passes between us.
I see you and I salute you.
Your humiliation and servitude.
The demand to toil.
For the right to breathe free.
I mourn your new position yet your stern gaze will not let me sympathize.
‘Till next week my new neighbor.
The wretched refuse of a teaming shore.
I lift my eyes to you.
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