Trash Day

First I take out the trash
and then I sit down to write.

I hold off on coffee until after
I’ve done something poetic.

I have friends who swear
the coffee must come first

but the coffee comes second around here, 
or even third on a Wednesday trash day. 

My friends understand why
the trash comes first, but how is poetry

something to get past and not
at least in part something I owe

to downing at least one delicious cup?
They don’t understand: I have to have

something to look forward to
so I hold the first cup in reserve. It’s

the Blue Mountain on the end
of the stick before me. Writing the poem,

on the other hand, is less a pleasure
than a — not a pain, no; more

of a requirement. More of a 
“take your pills” practice, a glucose test

of what pushes your blood through you.
Not so much medically required as 

now so much a part of the rituals
that to do so on some days hurts, on others

sings within, but is each day ignored at my peril.
So first the trash on Wednesdays, then

the poem, then the coffee. Today
it’s all tasting pretty much OK:

trash out half an hour early, and listen 
to this — not great, not terrible, but when the body

holds it up for inspection, it says 
all is in balance for now; I pour a cup

with a splash of milk and nothing else.
I don’t know what else I’ll be doing today

but at least I’ve done this and if today I pass away,
when they find me they can say they found me at rest.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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