Cleaning the Sidewalk

There is one
leaf blower scattering debris into the street
there is another
green rubber hose
flushing trash
down the driveway onto the roadway
the first one wears a bandana
covering face
green, white and red
an eagle wrestles a snake
on the peak of his nose
hot burning two-stroke scorches the breeze in stench
as the howl of the machine decries the whisper
of an elderly China-woman’s hay-bristle broom
the second one scratches
his pocked pot-belly
yellow nails questing through scraggly gray tufts
flip-flops dappled with mud
the nozzle hisses in engineered defiance
against the long summer drought
the fuel shortage
the encroaching desert
the dwindling river and snowpacks
the garbage choked sewers to the sea
but mostly
against never having to change for no one, buddy


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