- Gabriela Hamm
Compost Turning by A.J.Britz
The poem represents a simple way to contribute to the health of the planet but more importantly, anyone, anywhere, can do it and take pride in the accomplishment. The humor in the poem brings it into everyday life and suggests anyone can be a hero.
Fork the stinking mound and twist
til your shoulder socket cries,
churning a week’s dinner scraps
and cold coffee grounds, the bangs
of your least favorite child.
Soggy, aromatic hump
in the garden, shot through with
fish bones and slimy egg shells
the maggots and the earthworms’
Cocksure squirrels sit and watch
your toil from the garage roof,
kids watch from bedrooms windows,
their dolls too, a neighborhood
teeming with Soviet spies.
Dark and briny Santa’s sack,
torn open like a stomach,
its layers raked back together,
its gush of odors and gases
guaranteed to get you high.
Your energy expended
in broken arcs, shoulder blades
and wrists, the tennis elbow
of the true clay and grass man
working away at his heap.
Step away now, the job’s done,
the shuffled slop, a wreckage
of old chicken bones, moldy
cabbage and toenail clippings
in the corner of the yard.
Go inside and kiss your wife,
pat the dog and your children,
send the neighbor boy packin’,
dredger of organic waste
whose hips are a gift from heaven.