Poem – Dear Garbage Trucks

Dear Garbage Trucks:

I thought the silver lining of this pandemic was supposed to be silence. Yet every morning as I have my work Webexes, you’re out there making it tough for me to hear—lurching, growling and loudly digesting—all three of you, for the three apartment buildings on my block. I can only imagine how you smell, belching emissions and putrid air as you roll along. You make me feel afraid for the men who have to feed you from mounds of take-out trash, spring-cleaning refuse, contaminated gloves, leftover lunches and coffee grounds. I’ve held my nose (through a mask) at it all it in the trash room of my building. Your crews are among the few people I see every day. How did they come to this vocation? Why am I safely ensconced in my apartment, working from home, while you are braving the detritus of the District? So many things aren’t fair. I’m on mute and all I want to do is holler to Heaven that I wish this cup would pass for good and we wouldn’t have to worry about making each other sick but would help each other heal.

Elizabeth Gibbens

Posted in: Poetry