Literary LEO 2011
SOMETHING DIFFERENT — HONORABLE MENTION
Big Bill’s Metal Recycling
BY GAIL CHANDLER
Under New Management
This Property Recorded
By 24 Hr. VIDEO Cameras
After the sign and stacks of batteries and hubcaps
we gaze at oxidized motors, corrugated roof sections
gutters, dryer vent hoses, a hospital trash can, springs
two plaid sofa cushions, a yellow bush hog balanced
on rolls of fencing, a seat from an ancient hay rake
an upside down rusted Radio Flyer with no wheels
a mottled 1965 sedan with a bumper sticker
Miners do it in the Dark.
A muddy road curves between twenty foot barricades
of rusted axles, folding chairs, galvanized pipe
a train car, refrigerator racks and bed rails.
The mounds might be a set for Les Miserable.
A man with gray fly-away hair, knee brace
over his jeans, Dale Earnhardt tee, red flames
embossed on a blue cap, dismounts a rig
with a swinging industrial magnet.
This is some nasty work, he says.
Yesterday, they was a bad smell coming
from a busted-up trailer. I opened the door
and three rotted copperheads rolled out.
I wondered how many more
but didn’t go inside to find out.
He looks up at the corroded mountain
and wags his head. Things goes bad.
Sometimes you just gotta get rid of’em.
We got $109.35 and a scratch
on the side of our shiny red pickup.