Dump in the woods

Same pics, different day

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It was in a month of Sundays, shirking from work, that I drove a shovel’s metal moon deep into the old farm dump & came up full. Squat bottles lay nested in circles like dinosaur eggs, or children at play suddenly engulfed by the pyroclastic flow from a backwoods Vesuvius.

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To be human is to be the object of a bear’s withering scorn. You won’t read this in any philosophical treatise, but it’s true. I have found survey tape ripped from trees, hunters’ blinds torn apart, an abandoned plastic jerry can stippled with tooth-marks. We must seem slow & skinny & hairless & weak. But worst of all, we are heedless. We dump in the woods. A bear could be watching me right this minute, blinking myopically as the moist wings of her nostrils flutter open & shut.

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Springs hope eternally for one last go-round before the ground swallows them, one more, rusty bump & grind of their hurdy-gurdy epithaliamium, muffled now under sheet music of leaves.

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Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,
Go to sleep little baby,
When you awake, you will have cake,
And all the pretty little horses.

Way down yonder, down in the meadow,
There’s a poor little lambie,
Bees and butterflies pecking out its eyes,
The poor little thing cried mammy.

Good god, what hullabaloo used to qualify for a lullaby! No wonder the old toys still make a break for it whenever a flood interrupts their uneasy sleep.

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Heaved from the bed of a pickup, the microwave oven bounded down slope and came to rest against a clump of witch hazel with its door ajar. Now at last it was free to welcome all comers, including metal forks & spoons & anything with an ounce of water in it, all the one-time occupants of Noah’s Ark. Scattered nearby, plastic bones of the microwave-safe leviathan slowly crumbled under the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

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Glass is forever, chant the moss plants as they crowd in for another mass betrothal.

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After Ma Bell gave birth to the first transistor, an engineer quipped: Nature abhors a vacuum tube. But it’s not so. All circuit boards face an equally grim future as viscera: the glass & metal organs of some monstrous creature of habit, abstract & imperishable.

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I peer down at the rusty bucket as into a crystal ball, seeing clear to the other side of a slightly squashed world where blue geese rise from rice stubble on wings of zinc.

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