Running the Bulldozer at the State Street Dump

Fifty-two years earlier
I would have saved Rommel
in the African desert.
Instead, I inhale boxcars of stink
as gulls circle with the litter
and scout fresh garbage.
The ground is soft as cake
where my tracks dig
down into the buried heaps.
Litter snares in the north fence
and sunlight finds broken glass
where junkmen dig for prizes,
browse and poke at garbage,
toss mangled valuables
into the backs of their ancient pickups.
Commanding small destinies,
I stand before the field
of dump trucks; they are slow movements
on a map. The diesel smoke
chokes upward as I grind
this monster into a crawl.
The dozer's bucket is a gravedigger's hand,
and all the garbage is nervous.

:: Michael Catherwood, in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review #6 (1995)

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