Garbage Man


By Faiqa Ahmad 

“Hear ya all it’s the Garbage Man”

I yell as I pull my cart in front of the first house

Ringing their bells to relieve them of their garbage

Every morning, every day, every month

For many years

They open their gates,

And put their garbage filled baskets in front of me

All the while, covering their faces to avoid the cruel stink

I empty their filth onto my seat

Making room for much more that still have to come

I go around and see for little useful things in the heap

A shopping bag, some papers,

Broken utensils, discarded books

Or an edible item maybe

I look at the pictures on the empty food packets

Wondering what are they?

What will they taste like?

Will they be sweet or sour?

Spicy or bitter

As I hear somebody calling out to me

I shove the packet into a big bag

Forgetting about the taste of it

Forgetting about my empty stomach

I also put aside the broken shoes from the rubbish

To be taken home in the evening

While I emptied another basket

I thought of ways of making my new shoes good again

The discarded bottles make me realize about my thirst

But more importantly I should clean them to look acceptable

But first have to collect the garbage from all around

The sun is hot today

But so it is everyday

I pull my cart towards the next house

Calling out my name again

“It’s the Garbage man”

Suddenly wondering about the smell they so talk about

I wipe my face clean with my shirt

Adjust my torned cap

As there is still much more to see and put aside

And take out the garbage given into my hands


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