Do you remember how we stacked old newspapers under the rafters, how we tied them up with twine and waited for the women who came to buy them, measuring by the handspan? Months would go by then suddenly they were at the gate, smiling, stepping over the threshold, lowering too the makeshift buckets they’d lashed to poles for collecting slop or compost. We never asked where they took what we gave freely and with relief. This was in the days before talk of recycling, before we ever sorted glass from cardboard or tin; when we gathered dry leaves in piles beneath the trees and struck a match to them each afternoon. A season turns, and I think sometimes I can still smell these things in the air— Dark smudge of ink on newsprint. Dry crackle as things surrender their souls; as, forcibly, they change from one state of matter to another.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.