In the evening light at the freezing tip
we lug bin bags from the blanket of the car
in masked anonymity
through tired hi-viz employees, mumbling advice
to pallid human figures, barely there,
excising months of lockdown trash.
I find a working heater in one box
we hadn’t noticed
and a carved blue trinket organiser, one handle missing,
seashells clinging to its rim.
Ripped and flattened, cardboard flies from wrinkled hands
and lands, a soft thud in a bed of random remnants
discarded by other ghosts,
waiting to be merged, compacted,
One man takes a wooden crate
and violently splinters it,
smashing his foot down till it breaks and breaks again,
pieces scattering beneath car tyres
across frosted tarmac.
I look up. In the dark air its particles
reflect the street lamp, dance as spinning glitter,
wild blades of light
they could penetrate
David Van-Cauter’s pamphlet Mirror Lake is published by Arenig Press. He was runner-up in the Ver Poets Open Competition 2019. He is a personal tutor based in Hertfordshire.