At The Recycling Center
I back my van up to a tottering
mountain of metal, yank on a pair
of work gloves, and fling
a mower blade, a roll of rusty fencing,
and the handlebars of a treadmill
on top of the rest of the scrap.
The guy in the next slot, straddling
the bed of his pickup, scatters
a box of old toys—Barbie dolls, plastic
stove, twisted Slinky—as I knowingly
nod, both of my daughters, with
families of their own now,
thousands of miles from home.
Tim Applegate's poems, short fiction, and essays appear in The Florida Review, The South Dakota Review, Lake Effect, and Rhino, among many other journals and anthologies. He is the author of three poetry collections--At the End of Day, Drydock, and Blueprints--and two novels, Fever Tree and Flamingo Lane (forthcoming from Amberjack Publishing in 2019). He lives in western Oregon.