Careful for the scavenger beasts
that may be found on the street on trash day –
cats and dogs, possums and raccoons,
even the occasional bear in outlying sections –
I placed the entire contents
of a failed refrigerator on the curb, trailing
a cloud of flies with me from the back porch.
Spoiled meat, spoiled milk, spoiled everything;
everything gone, everything rich ripe and gross
to the human nose. Two heavy bags reeking,
unbearable almost to the touch. I heaved them
into place, came back inside;
do you know, not ten minutes passed
before I heard a coyote at the curb?
I let him have at it with his long snout, sensitive enough
to find the good in all the bad I thought was there.
A car came down the hill, and I watched him go
into the back yard and disappear, leaving
only a neat hole in each bag
to show he’d ever been there. And if I prayed,
held my breath for a second in his presence
as I thought of how my cast-off was his treasure?
That’s my own concern. From here,
you should go and seek your own in whatever
you are trying to discard, in whatever
is chosen by another to redeem.