Sweat plasters his bright red shirt to his back,
sweat rolls out from under his doo-rag, stinging his eyes.
Heat rises from the macadam
to greet the sun's hot rays.
Along the roadside he trudges,
keeping pace with the big blue truck.
The sickly smell of decomposition
rises from a pile of plastic bags -
refuse, scraps, detritus of consumption -
that blocks his path.
He stops, stoops,
futilely tries to shoo some flies,
then slowly, deliberately
picks up each bag
and throws it into the truck bed.
While the final bag is in his hand,
the truck slips slowly away.
As that last bag hangs suspended in the air,
he shifts his shoulders,
kicks the dirt,
and starts toward the next pile,
following the big, blue truck.
25 May 2011
Norman Manley International Airport