Trash Day by Michael Haeflinger

Rainfall, a broken piece of floor, linoleum,
recycling to the rim with beer cans,
two neighbor girls off to school,
someplace behind the pull of sky,
a line of buildings dark all day.

Birds leave wings packed,
find treasures spring deposits in the yard:
a basketball hoop crooked as a vulture,
a shopping cart full of dry leaves,
the names of her sons
who’ll never see parole
spray painted on the stucco.

Still, she takes her trash out every Monday,
even when the sun refuses her,
her leftovers a precious fortress
on the sloped sidewalk,
the sons of other mothers
rumbling towards her
in great combustible wombs
to take it all away.


*Michael Haeflinger is a native Midwesterner who has recently moved to Tacoma from Philadelphia. His chapbook, Love Poem for the Everyday was published by Dog On a Chain Press in 2011 and his newest chapbook collection, The Days Before, will appear in Fall 2014. In addition to writing poetry, he also works on mixed media collages. Check out his work on the web at