A New Roadside Litter

Years ago, I’d leave the house
each morning at seven
to meet my friends
to hike our lovely hills.

On Wednesdays, the day
the trash truck came,
I would take a plastic bag
to pick up any roadside litter
along the way.

Those habits are lost to time;
this morning I go alone.
At nine, eased by sleep and dreams,
I leave to walk our country roads.

Strangely, the edges are nearly devoid of debris:
a few wrappers, a water bottle, a can.
What shocks me most — two paper face masks,
probably blown from a car’s dashboard,
one fading on a barbed wire fence,
another on the ground among weeds.

It has been four months
of spreading virus.
How innocent we were a year ago,
how much we took for granted.



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