Bucket Man

Bucket Man
for James

Drive down any road here
strewn with peeled-off rubber
retreads, ubiquitous

halves of lots of pairs of
shoes, broken boards, hubcaps,
road kill in diverse states

of decay. Useful things,
too—for he slows the truck,
stops beside the pavement,

dodging oncoming cars
to cross the road. Retrieves
the prize from that weedy

muck of ditch—a bucket,
handy for carrying
sweet mash or barley to

horses, water to quench
their mighty thirsts. Buckets
from construction trucks, those

pails that held plaster and
joint compound, nails or paint,
and shortening vats from bakeries—

washed and dried—are of use
on a farm. If you find one,
hold on to that bucket

man—who better to know
the value of some lost,
some used and empty thing?

Published in A Stirring in the Dark, Old Seventy Creek Press
and Little Fires, Finishing Line Press