Ann Gibson : Scratching The Surface

In twos and threes we work our way through town,
grub through undergrowth, glean bags and bottles,

recover hanging doggy bags from branches
scoop takeaways, wet-wipes (and worse) from paths.

Our litter-pickers nip at cigarette ends,
claw chocolate wrappers, packets, cans and cartons;

pluck polystyrene trays from trash-logged lay-bys,
free flapping banshee shreds from trees and bushes.

Job done, we gaze, shaking heads and tutting,
at a piled-up pyramid of plastic swag,
like a grimy iceberg, standing in the square.

Feeling keen, fired up by our efforts,
we make another date, our fervour such
that we forget to hope for poorer pickings.