Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Barrel Along"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "Pick up trash" square in my 1-1-20 card for the Less Usual Bingo Patterns fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"Barrel Along"

[Friday, October 16, 2015]

Shiv hasn't noticed them much before,
but he noticed them more now.

Wherever he goes, he sees
the brown bins with colorful holes:
a blue slot for flat paper things,
a green circle for bottles and cans,
a purple rectangle for electronics, and
an orange triangle for other recyclables.

Some of them have scanners, scales,
or other things to record deposits
and reward citizens for their diligence.

It's not a very supervillain thing to do,
but Shiv finds himself picking up trash
more and more often, stuffing it into bins
instead of just ignoring it as he walks by.

Once in a while he goes to the big parks
just to barrel along like that, if he runs out
of pocket money in the middle of the day.

In his head, he can hear Aida chattering
like a nature program as they walk the beach,
or Boss Finn advising young punks to earn money
from picking up trash instead of mugging people.

It's weird. It's unfamiliar. Shiv isn't sure
that he likes the way it changes what he does.

But it sure as hell is better than his usual thoughts.

* * *

Notes:

Recycling is the process of turning old material into new products. Learn how to recycle and find recycling services near you.

Color code symbols and combination bins help sort out recyclables for more efficient handling. This kind of bin is more common in Terramagne than here. They recycle more stuff in general.

Feeling like a stranger to yourself is among the more common feelings and signs of personal growth. Shiv has been freaking out for months because he's starting to change in ways that feel unfamiliar and therefore uncomfortable. However, he can tell that he likes the new ideas better than the old ones. You'll see Shiv's support network starting to ask him about whether he prefers a old idea or a new idea, and encouraging him to make a conscious decision about which to keep. Finding yourself and getting to know yourself can help integrate the changes so they stop feeling so weird.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, life lessons, nature, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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