The cityscape is laden with concrete and asphalt
groaning under yesterday’s fast food containers
trying to shrug off the pain of broken bottles
unable to push aside the remnants of plastic

the vacant lots with vacated buildings accrue it
this wasteful epitaph to scientists who discover
ways in laboratories to make our lives easier

but there he is with an unknown name to me
that I see walking along the side of the road
broom and dustpan in hand cleaning again and again
pulling scraps of litter from beneath the shrubs

he is determined that this small stretch he walks
will not be left neglected on his watch even
though his back is bent and age follows him

the shrubs will bloom and the trees leaves unfold
in thanks to this man they are honored to know
and the birdsong will sound as insects visit
knowing he cares and they are loved

© 2016 Renee Espriu

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