Garbage on the Side of the Road

Garbage on the Side of the Road
By J. Claudius Cloyd
Of course it’s futile to dream the sun here
in this land of grey where fractured souls dwell
and meander in their shacks, where soda pop cans sleep stubbornly
on the side of the road, where itinerants flick
their cigarette butts in your garden and of course
you’re right when you say, “Just because you’re poor,
doesn’t mean you have to behave like trash.”  But life up here
has a way of flinging its filthiness and ignorance on you.
We’re stuck, sweetheart—we’re stuck.
And I can forgive you for convincing me to live out here, but
I’ll never let myself live it down in this sleeping winter
of strange resignation.  And I hope
you can forgive my moodiness.  You’re so patient.  I just wish that the sun
would burn away all this grey because
sometimes water turns into mud and sometimes
it turns to ice.  Not too far away it’s turning
into gasoline.  And when
the sun does shine I like to take a walk with
you and push Emily’s stroller on the
gravelly side of the road, I like
spotting passing deer and frogs, I like quietly farting
without having to apologize
and I don’t mind
the garbage and mildewed furniture when it gets
in our way.  It’s just that my heart breaks
every time I can’t tell whether there’s
a rock in my shoe
or if my feet are turning to stone.

0 thoughts on “Garbage on the Side of the Road

  1. Joe, what I thought would be an unbelievable narrative coming from you (I don’t see you in “Hillbilly” mode) turned out to be be completely convincing and very good. There’s another level of maturity here I haven’t read from you yet. Up and up! Great last image as well. . . Feet of stone. Great work.

  2. Nice read Cloyd……I always hated the boonies because they are just as you describe…. “land of grey where fractured souls dwell
    and meander in their shacks, where soda pop cans sleep stubbornly
    on the side of the road, where itinerants flick
    their cigarette butts in your garden”
    Ustate New York perhaps?
    🙂
    Nice job.
    Frank S

  3. Liked the opening lines very much: “Of course it’s futile to dream the sun here / in this land of grey where fractured souls dwell / and meander in their shacks . . .”

Leave a Reply