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Sunday, January 12, 2020
Poetry Sunday: To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year by Philip Appleman
Today, let us celebrate those who do the necessary work of collecting our refuse and thus keeping our neighborhoods nice and tidy. Philip Appleman wrote a poem about them. So here for the garbage collectors in Bloomington, Indiana and in my town and yours...
To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year
by Philip Appleman
(the way bed is in winter, like an aproned lap,
like furry mittens,
like childhood crouching under tables)
The Ninth Day of Xmas, in the morning black
outside our window: clattering cans, the whir
of a hopper, shouts, a whistle, move on ...
I see them in my warm imagination
the way I’ll see them later in the cold,
heaving the huge cans and running
(running!) to the next house on the street.
My vestiges of muscle stir
uneasily in their percale cocoon:
what moves those men out there, what
drives them running to the next house and the next?
Halfway back to dream, I speculate:
The Social Weal? “Let’s make good old
Bloomington a cleaner place
to live in—right, men? Hup, tha!”
Healthy Competition? “Come on, boys,
let’s burn up that route today and beat those dudes