Tuesdays

by Angela Prew

Dark figures loom
in the cold morning gloom,
trolleys beside them,
recycling,
reclaiming the usable,
the edible
junked by the comfortable
residents of these streets.

Here is meat,
leftovers from Sunday lunch.
Brush off the maggots
for a tasty meal.
Here’s half a pie, here
a hamburger and here
a pair of shoes
only a little down at heel.
Add boxes, tins, bottles –
they pay out on these
maybe enough
for a papsak
and brief oblivion.

“Load the trolley, Bro,
Pick up that shovel, left
by the guys
cleaning the canal
yesterday.
Move on to the next house.
Quickly!
The binmen are coming.”

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