what I have learned so far about garbage cans by Norma Kerby

Poem name: what I have learned so far about garbage cans  Poet name: Norma Kerby  Poem begins: you would think at this point I would know better and not pick up a swishy piece of civilization  lying abandoned on the sidewalk but the ebony sheen of its carved handle was a treasure in my  eye poking sharply into the rainy morning and I bent over and scooped it up into my recycling  bag and thought that these sorts of extra-body adventures were excellent for learning outside  life’s garbage can which had fallen over into the street and several pigeons and a lonely crow  were dogging traffic to reach the remains, but what I learnt as a child overwhelmed the rotten  smells and I dashed into the street, ebony dinner knife in my hand and grabbed the can and  narrowly missed being hit by a truck but the garbage I left behind to the birds having learnt too  many times that it is the big object which is worth risking everything, as no-one ever thanks you  for cleaning up someone else’s messes unless they are environmentalists as they try to scrub  squished styrofoam containers from everyone’s stream of consciousness, so I swiftly walked  away not wanting to be labelled a wanton refuse hero who knew there are no medals for trying  to wash the stench of society’s waste from her hands but today I remember that garbage can and      the crow and those pigeons and wish I had learnt my life lessons much younger than                           when I rescued a plastic garbage bin from being a victim  End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Norma Kerby     Norma Kerby has been published in journals, e-zines, magazines, and anthologies, most recently, the anthologies, Heartwood (League of Canadian Poets), Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem (Mansfield Press), Seed Dreams (Writers North of 54), and Tending the Fire (League of Canadian Poets), as well as her chapbook, Shores of Haida Gwaii (Big Pond Rumours Press). Nominated for a Pushcart Prize (Prairie Journal) and shortlisted for the Federation of BC Writers Poetry Literary Contest (2021), she writes about environmental, ecological and social issues, in particular those affecting rural and northern Canada.