Scraps for Compost


I have an urge to name
everything that wanders
into my yard.

I give deer the names of old men
and watch them rid up corn
putting on last winter fat.

I, too, have an urge to eat the last
tomato, though it is long
past prime.

October decay in the rust belt
has the same hellish glow
in the country or in town.
Long shadows lick sides of
streets, and people pull
their sweat-shirts

They are friendly enough;
they tell me their names.
Some I’ll remember.
Some I’ll forget.

I keep a journal of strange encounters.
A mental log of peculiar names
and try to sort how worn their shoes were.
‘Do you garden?’ I ask.
‘I don’t have the time,’ one answers.
I scribble recipes they might like and pass
them around work or the doctor’s office.
On days such as this, a cold occasion,
I’d suggest ‘last harvest soup,’
and invite these guests for
an easy meal.

If not, deer are fine company,
though I must worry, as they fear nothing,
when hunting season begins.
And, as this is a place of peace —
must remember table-scraps
go in the compost.

Jason Kish completed an English BA with Communication Media minor at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has concentrations in writing and literary studies, has written and edited for a national publication, and his photography and writing have been published in various literary magazines.

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