Dump Trip Saturday

Dump Trip Saturday is sacred among Saturdays.

It stands alone unto itself, unique and holy.

Its rites and rituals are solitary and serene;

their execution is communal (and clamorous!).


Dump Trip Saturday is always borne from Saturdays past:

A pile of scraps after a completed project,

appliances failed beyond repair,

a neglected playhouse, a weary mattress,

tattered furniture, rusted tools.

Dump Trip Saturday starts with necessity.


But necessity soon blooms into charity.

A dump-bound man looks at his half-empty truck bed

like the parabled rich man–

appalled at even the possibility

of an unfilled banquet table.

Messages are texted down alleys and avenues

and streets of the Borough:

Have anything for the dump?

I’ll stop by after work.

Sure, there’s plenty of room!

I’ll just move the dishwasher.

We’ll throw that couch on top!

The load piles high, and the truck bears it up gladly.

And his man is happy.


Dump Trip Saturday dawns a still and quiet morning.

Men rise before the sun–no alarm clock, no external impetus.

It is their call, the order of the day.

Coffee is pressed and boots are tied.

Straps are strung, and tightened, and checked.


Dump-bound trucks on Dump Trip Saturday

lurch out with rusty groans,

From driveways and demo sites,

from fixer-uppers and farmsteads,

each embarking is alike:

Easy on the gas until the load settles in.

Real easy around the corners, and steady up the hills.

Rearview mirrors rendered useless.

Daddy’s helpers wearing galoshes and granola crumbs,

bouncing on backseat benches.


A dichotomy of diversity gathers at the scale house gate:

Chevys and Fords and Dodges in tranquil ecumenicity.

Work trucks and farm trucks

and old trucks and new trucks

in one idling iron queue.

A creaky old Ram with a one-bedroom apartment

waits after a Chevy with a hoarder’s last will and testament.

An old Ford arrives with an entire razed barn,

all but the weathervane heaped on the trailer in tow.

Nary a cubic inch is but spoken for–

every bed piled to heaven like the Joad family’s Super Six.


Dump Trip Saturday is needful and necessary,

but it is melancholy and rote.

In its path of annihilation and eradication

lies the balance between sentiment and suffocation,

hoarding and habitat.

Each heave is a release–a flush, a forgetting.

Dump Trip Saturday is the crash of the past

into the dumpsters of history.

It is the fate of all the rusted, the broken,

the sagging box springs yearning to breathe free–

the wretched refuse of the county’s filthy floors!


There is no remembrance of former things,

nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be

among those who come after, says the Preacher.

All trucks come the dump, but the dump is never full.

To the place where the trucks go, there they will go again.

April 2021

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