Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Swap Shed

Yesterday, we gathered up the trash and the items we saved to recycle and drove off to the town dump. It has a longer, fancier and more accurate name but everyone still calls it "The Dump". As we off loaded one bag of trash for the landfill and lots of paper, cans and bottles in the recycle bins, I paused and took a look around. All of the recycle stations have multiplied. There are now places for used motor oil, old tires, computer monitors, metal... You name it. It's there. Including the old Swap Shed. It's been spruced up a bit, but it still functions the same way it always has. As long as something is usable you can leave it in The Swap Shed - or poke around and find a new treasure for yourself. That got me thinking about this poem. I wrote it several years ago and even had it published in our weekly paper. Soon after, my husband Chuck was told that it had been clipped out and saved by our local historical society! I guess they wanted a little slice of life word picture of one aspect of our small town.

The Swap Shed

Andirons and silk flowers
go in one door
Fiberglass insulation
and a lavatory sink
come out the other
It's Saturday at the dump
Landfill and Recycling Center

Standing between the green bins
for sorting glass
and the roll-off
filled with old news
is our little slice of heaven
at the dump:
The Swap Shed
"Take It or Leave It"
the sign says
and we do just that

A father comes out
with a big brown teddy bear
for his son sitting in the back seat
of the blue minivan
A woman carries in a large clear glass lamp
I imagine the possibilities
but am distracted by the gas grill
behind a red pick up truck
Is it coming or going?
It's going

A stack of Harlequin romances goes in
two mysteries come out
This is much better than
Filene's old basement
(the real one)
No waiting in line to check out
and all the thrill of the hunt
without the nasty elbowing for position
also, very few people
strip down to try on clothes!

Speaking of which,
a stack of newborn clothes
laundered and folded goes in
and a Vegamatic comes out
Moments later
the Vegamatic returns
rejected by the wife
waiting patiently in the car
for the happier than a pig in
The Swap Shed
to come out

He does
with a hand plane
with only one part
He'll look again next week
at The Swap Shed

- LMR/PinkGranite

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