the harvest
by John Reoli

a peasant woman, four feet
ten, face like a sultana raisin,
bears a staff balanced by plastic
bags of recyclable bottles

another woman, diagonally across
B and 7th, identical but for a blue head
scarf, bends, picks an aluminum can

a jeep scurries by

helicopters report on traffic

commuters flee like refugees

at each intersection the women
sift trash with gloved hands till
outside Key Food they stuff
gleanings into a machine
that weighs their labor, spits
out a receipt for cash

everywhere reminders of war

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