Letting Go

Becoming Quiet

Becoming Quiet

Yesterday was dump-hauling day,
what the local people with pick-up trucks
like to call a dump run.
We loaded a pile of old painted lumber
into the bed of a rented truck,
tied down the loose stack
with tarps and ropes,
and drove the whole thing down
to the dump in the hills
just to the north of Watsonville.

I think of the dump as the quiet end
of a passing civilization, a place
where all the noise-making
apparatuses in this part of the world
eventually bow to the might
of sustained silence.
To see what goes under the land
when the bulldozers give these nearly
lifeless things their final push
into the dirt of long rest
is so much different than what
I might see wherever else I look.

Seagulls hover over the bulldozers
and pick-up trucks, over the old lumber
and old shoes, old vegetables
and forsaken carpentry projects
that have been brought here into this
vast and sinking silence.
The seagulls noisily pick at
what they see as worthy of activity,
but me–I hear their loud warning
of how I must quietly let go.


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