Garbage Day

You can tell who lives here by the trash.
For years, two cans, now just one, or
A single white plastic bag tied in a plastic knot.
If you’re concerned, you can look in the mailbox
And find a nest of puppies and babushkas
Begging for just pennies a day. When I sifted through
His few belongings, I found my uncle’s letters
From the beach at Normandy, recalling his terror
In a rain-filled foxhole, shoved in an envelope
Along with canceled checks in small amounts,
Pledged to every pitiful appeal on television.
He had a saying, The legs are the first to go.
A medic, he knew more than most how life
Takes it out of us, so it’s easier to give it up.
Trash waits at the curb, like a child for the school bus.


About the Author
Robert Guard has been published in Harpur Palate, Amoskeag, Chaffin Journal, California Quarterly, Clackamas Literary Review, DASH, Nixes Mate Review, Poet Lore, riverSedge, The Round, and others. Robert attended the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and studied under David Baker and Rosanna Warren. He worked for thirty-five years in advertising as a writer and creative director. Robert teaches yoga and has an energy healing practice. He also conducts workshops on various health and fitness topics including meditation and stress reduction.