Dump in the Woods

It was in a month of Sundays, shirking from work, that I drove a shovel’s metal moon deep into the old farm dump & came up full. Squat bottles lay nested in circles like dinosaur eggs, or children at play suddenly engulfed by the pyroclastic flow from a backwoods Vesuvius.

To be human is to be the object of a bear’s withering scorn. I have found survey tape ripped from trees, hunters’ blinds torn apart, and now this abandoned plastic jerry can riddled with tooth-marks. We must seem slow & skinny, hairless & weak. But worst of all, we are heedless — we dump in the woods.

Heaved from the bed of a pickup, the microwave oven bounded down slope and came to rest against a clump of witch hazel with its door ajar. Now at last it was free to welcome all comers, including metal forks & spoons & anything with an ounce of water in it, all the one-time occupants of Noah’s ark.

Glass is forever, chant the moss plants as they crowd into a whiskey bottle for another mass betrothal.

The old bedsprings hope eternally for one last go-round before the ground swallows them, one more, rusty bump & grind of their hurdy-gurdy epithalamium, muffled now under sheet music of leaves.

After Ma Bell gave birth to the first transistor, an engineer quipped: Nature abhors a vacuum tube. But time & frequent dumping suggest otherwise. Even the high-tech motherboards from which we now suckle will one day devolve into viscera: the glass & metal organs of some monstrous creature of habit, abstract & imperishable.