May 11, 2018

Two Poems by Duane Anderson: "Revenge of the Sunset Maple," and "Clothing Donations"

Duane Anderson currently lives in La Vista, NE. He has had poems published in Saga, Poetry Now, Telephone, Lunch, Touchstone, Pastiche: Poems of Place, Fine Lines, The Ibis Head Review, Carcinogenic Poetry and several other publications.

Revenge of the Red Sunset Maple

For reasons unknown, our Red Sunset Maple
didn’t seem to like the pruning
done to it last fall,
and when spring rolled around,
it got its revenge
by scattering thousands of seeds
all over our backyard.
Years ago, the man at the nursery
where we purchased this tree
said that it was a seedless maple.
This was pretty much true
for the first ten years,
but this year the tree had its revenge.

So as of late, I have become a lumberjack
dressed in my plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans with suspenders
singing lumberjack songs
as I pull up thousands of these little trees
developed from these seeds.
Maybe my neighbors think I am a strange one,
but it doesn’t matter because I am.
As I pull up the little trees scattered over the yard,
I contemplate about how I can become
friends again with the tree,
after all,
I do enjoy the shade it provides.

Clothing Donations

A box, placed in the corner of the parking lot,
marked ‘Clothing Donation Drop Box’
on three of the four sides,
waits for someone to make a deposit.
I had no desire to look inside the box
assuming it only had clothes in it,
though assumptions of mind have been wrong in the past,
and it could have been that way again,
not that it mattered.
A few days ago, next to the box,
lay three car tires minus the rims,
an old nineteen-inch television
and a few boxes of other items not clothes related
though my sense of clothes were totally different
than the person dropping off these items.

It wasn’t the first time that items other
than clothes that had been dropped off.
Toasters, pots and pans,
a child car seat and a few other items
had been left behind,
though on subsequent walks past this box
some of the items had disappeared
like the child car seat,
while the other items were left untouched,
and then today two of the three tires were gone.
Someone must have thought they
were available at a bargain,
a price that they couldn’t refuse
and went ahead and grabbed them.

I don’t think anyone was going to complain
that they went missing,
because it was doubtful the company running the site
knew they were there
and the items, according to the sign,
were not wanted in the first place.
I myself had no use for the miscellaneous items,
or the clothes,
so as usual, I passed,
and I wasn’t going to sit around to police the site
to make sure other unwanted items weren’t dropped off.
I am just a passerby,
reporting on one of my observations to the world.

~Duane Anderson

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