My friend bags oranges and bananas,
adds a couple of bottles of water
whenever she heads out the door to work.
Sometimes a muffin, sometimes half
a loaf of bread— She’ll give this
to the man who stands with a sign
often at the intersection, begging
for work, for anything to tide
him over. The tide is high, and it
keeps rising. How many of us
will it take to keep it from coming
and obliterating us all? Meanwhile
the dumpsters fill with residue
of wrapping paper, boxes, gift
tags, ribbons. It is the day of grace
or the day after. On the sidewalk,
a tree lies on its side, dry, brown,
needling the air for lost ornaments.
A dog sniffs at the branches. A street away,
two fire trucks pull up to a yellow house.