Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bin Divers

by Janis Lull

Hip waders, hand mixers, Zen masters of junk,
scour the Goodwill between Mission and Market,
loaded on hope. The ruins of wealth hide wealth
itself, a perfect ten, in a purse, in a pocket,
or in a color--deep red?--that sings of health
through heaps of the dead and dying. This monk

of metal rescues what he can shine. This nun,
robed in leather, tries to save our skins.
This wife, dragging a crumbling mind,
comes only to recollect, to troll the bins
for photos and old song books that remind
her of home: She is one and all alone

and evermore shall be so. Yet here in twos
and threes are families, friends: Romanian twins,
about thirteen--so skinny--with blond mops
and pale, expert hands. This one spins
straw into gold, while the other one never stops
counting. These are gifts they must use.

A thief slips on pairs of jeans behind
his lover’s outspread coat, and both get caught,
which means they have to leave the pants and go
out into the fog, hand in hand. All sentences ought
to be like this: recycled and modest, no
sharp points, like the treasures we’re trying to find.

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