Twist Ties

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Two more years and he will be a hundred.

Still, he hobbles to the sink

to rinse Styrofoam meat trays

before placing them in the recycling bin.


He doesn’t know they won’t be recycled--

His was a simple time. Meat hung in the larder

and milk bottles were left on the doorstep.


He rinses ziplock bags, hangs them to dry

and saves twist ties as if one day

he might need them.


My grandma is the same.

She won’t throw out an expired can of fruit.

When she was young, her hands stung quartering peaches for the troops.

Imagine being on a ship in the far Pacific, war planes diving like pelicans.

Imagine prying open a can, slurping the tangy sweetness,

knowing that women of all ages had picked this fruit for you,

that the soil you’d left was still feeding you.


I wonder how we millennials will fare in this world.

We, the generation who knows that Styrofoam meat trays don’t go away. 

We, who distract ourselves from the news: 

the coral reefs collapsing like lungs,

the terrorists cutting open people’s throats,

the walls built and walls burned down.


What will become of us--

the ones who do not save our twist ties? 


Submitted: November 07, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Yarrow Wilson. All rights reserved.

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