Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Salvage

     
Daily the cortege of crumpled 
defunct cars 
goes by by the lasagna-
layered flatbed 
truckload: hardtop 

reverting to tar smudge,
wax shine antiqued to crusted 
winepress smear, 
windshield battered to
intact ice-tint, a rarity

fresh from the Pleistocene. 
I like it; privately 
I find esthetic 
satisfaction in these 
ceremonial removals

from the category of
received ideas
to regions where pigeons' 
svelte smoke-velvet
limousines, taxiing 

in whirligigs, reclaim 
a parking lot,
and the bag-laden
hermit woman, disencumbered 
of a greater incubus,

the crush of unexamined
attitudes, stoutly
follows her routine,
mining the mountainsides
of our daily refuse

for artifacts: subversive
re-establishing
with each arcane
trash-basket dig
the pleasures of the ruined.

Credit


From The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Copyright © 1997. Used with permission from the Estate of Amy Clampitt.

Author


Amy Clampitt

Amy Clampitt was born on June 15, 1920, and brought up in

Date Published: 1997-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/salvage