You, jarred from sleep half an hour
before the alarm by an idling engine and
the hydraulic crush of busted kitchen chairs
from down the block. It doesn’t help
that you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately,
and what was it you forgot to do last night?
Sorting sleep from life, it all comes back—
the shattered oven door, the ruined rug.
Barefoot in pyjamas behind the garage you find
cans upended and bags torn open, damn dog,
and the godforsaken shovel’s broken. It doesn’t help
that you’ve been worried about your job
since the latest round of renegotiations.
Everything you’ve pitched the last seven days
is lying at your feet, exposed. So many things
have gone to waste…you never knew.
A laden can in each hand, biceps working
with back pain, bare feet on gravel, ruts
and puddles. It’s almost too much. The truck
is already at your neighbour’s house.
One more can to fetch. Forget it. Let it be.
The first cars of morning have already started.
Your neighbours are rolling slowly past your driveway
and you know they know they’ve beaten you.