Down In The Dump Again

I drift down gently,
trailering debris to the dump.
The car frets backwards,
taking its orders from the rough
semaphore of a deputy totter.

Fumbling at the boot,
I kick a few of the nearby traces
over each other. The usuals.
Melted televisions, worn to a blur
by hours of eyeball; a set
of china frogs; some shanks of grass;
the shadow of a marriage
blighted by indifference; a felt hat
ripped round the jaunt of its brim;
a skeleton, still articulate; and the crazy
paving favoured by neighbours.

'I have nothing to add,' I tell
the check-in sheriff, dodging his
burly and luminous
yellow velcro forearms. You couldn't
miss him in the dark,
if you switched your headlights on
and drove the car straight at him.

He eyes the contents, my offering,
like a fish suspicious of a grill-pan.

I sigh, removing
wads of white fiver from the roof-rack,
turfing the concrete neatly.
Weighting them down with a mattress,
I stare at its ageing stains.
Blotches, the careful splash
of indelible water, the specks of
ink in the pillow end:
there isn't evidence enough
for serious conviction.

I hide the parcels of raw snore
beneath the jiggered lung
of a tumble dryer. I dig out
a case of conversations, bury them
in a bucket of cheque stubs.
A tinker, testing a fresh cuss,
snatches an ancient argument
I hadn't heard for years. He stuffs it
up his sleeve: it is the one
about your cousin coming for Christmas.
There's mould on it, true,
but it's better than he'd bargain for.

Fair robbery, no exchange. I trip
awkwardly over obituaries that a careless
scavenger's unearthed, and fall
face up in a blue pool of sky.
I fold it around me, shivering,
trail its torn edges
to the looted boot. It wraps me
like wet skin.

Now it is evening, and I have
passed through sunset to darkness.
I crouch in the car,
hearing the keys turn, someone
nicking ignition, leaving the compound
with the day's best estimate -
a car, a trailer,
and me, huddled invisible
in this thin blue infinity.

From Robinson Crusoe's Bank Holiday Monday