Today's poem is by David Moolten

The Gleaners

Bless the thieves, for they shall inherit
The earth, the parts no one else dares inhabit,
El bridge shadows, burnt barrels, Market Street,
Concrete dividers redeemed with brash paint,

Soul as style and style as grist, a canvas
On which a truck has come hard to rest.
The pocked pavement glitters and they egress,
Ardent late night sentinels looking out

For themselves. They bow to the ground, gather
A diaspora of plumbing parts, meek plunder
And a chance blessing whose burden they share
With the fierce fraternity and sudden hunger

Of mobs, heaving, staving crates, the nominal
Gold rush of collaboration. Promised
By tradition the harvest's edible
Detritus, those patient widows Millet painted

Might have hoarded lead bushings like wheat
Because west of 40th even junk
Commands reverence, a thing's price on the street
Its overlooked grain of truth, messianic

As Thunderbird, a dime of crack, the body's
Transubstantiation into smoke, the same
Grateful urge to hold on, get to their knees,
Knowing there's less where this came from.

Copyright © 2011 David Moolten All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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