What a Waste

When I heard that the dumpsters are locked
at our neighborhood Dunkin Donuts at night
to keep out the strays and the beggars,
I thought of my grandmother
and her job to travel to the
neighborhood bakery and beg for crumbs
at closing time. I envision her alone,
the youngest of six, adjacent
to an empty sky, a hungry star
and a crystal vision on a cold night.
There is absence of body in memory, extremities
play a role in frost-bitten forgetfulness,
the tarnish of holed shoes
and the news of a bridge
between skin and a windy night.
There is a shiver to this reality, I must say,
and those waiting for yesterday and today.
The mother in hopeless abandon,
the occupation of delay
and seated deliberation. Where is progress
at the confrontation of a closed door?
I see this place, I see young children waiting for stars,
distant landfills consumed by mountains of necessity,
riddled by lonely and frivolous waste.

With a smile, I asked her—
Would she secretly eat anything before arriving home.
She said no and I believe her—
that small, filthy beggar.

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About Kate Houck

Educator. Human. Poet. Seeking truth through experience.
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13 Responses to What a Waste

  1. 1EarthUnited says:

    Reblogged this on 1EarthUnited and commented:
    Reality bites.

  2. Tom Schultz says:

    Your words have such warmth within restraint–a rare combination. Like your new photo. 🙂

  3. Very moving. I like the image of the stars, something beautiful amidst the human tragedy that is playing out at the bakery door. I also really liked “distant landfills..frivoulous waste.” You’ve really bitten into the heart of consumerism with this. Well done. Thank you for reading my blog. Wishing you a creative day.

    • Kate Houck says:

      Touched that you were moved by the poem. And, thank you for seeing that beauty. There is beauty in everything, even in tragedy. Glad to find your blog. Looking forward to your posts!

  4. borncarmona says:

    Hello dearest, poetic friend! This is a very good poem especially with the time of year when so many people pretend to care and some actually do. Very true this consumerism. Yet I don’t want to criticize my shopper friends who also do good deeds and truly care. How do we awaken the rest?

    • Kate Houck says:

      Hello, my love! Good question. There is a balance to be found, I guess. Shopping and buying gifts is a wonderful (and pleasurable) thing to do, but the waste can become obscene…especially at this time of year. We need to continue to talk and write and sing, open our hearts and minds, continue with sincere lifestyles and hope and pray for better days. Thinking of you all. Kisses.

  5. Such a lovely post…the meaningful thoughts have just flow in your words. Very touchy…

  6. What a fantastic piece; very emotionally evocative for me. And thank you for the visit AND the follow, I have returned the favor and look forward to our future exchanges of work! 😀 Jamy

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