The old trash basket stands in the corner, alone
beneath the spot where the land line once hung.
Mute, it remembers everything thrown in its oil-stained maw:
newspaper headlines – like the day after John Lennon was shot
when I sang “Imagine” to our baby. If the can sensed
I sung off-key or that Lennon was a god who decided
to stop being a god, it didn’t say – just like it didn’t tell on me
when I stuffed kid-forbidden snack wrappers under the daily refuse,
didn’t judge me when I pulled a half-smoked cigarette
from the creases of a greasy take-out bag (three days
after I quit for the umpteenth time). It didn’t tell the kids
when we sacked half their halloween candy.
When grandma came over, it kept its counsel, didn’t say
most of her chintzy Christmas toys broke before New Years–
wound up among the dirty diapers.
If it had been up to me, I’d have dispensed with that bin long ago.
I coveted one of those MoMa modern stainless-steel jobs,
a sleek spaceship, but it too would get scuzzy and dented.
Our kids, now grown, when they’d come home would grouse
about the change. So, it will stay, empty of newsprint, aging
in place and will finally leave for good when we do,
an apt urn for what remains of us.