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Poetry Friday : April 28, 2017.

In February, I joined a Facebook poetry-writing group created by Laura Shovan. The group writes poems to ten found words from news articles. On February 16, Ruth Lehrer culled words for #10FoundWords from “The Compost King of New York.” Here are the words–eleven in all–that we were to use in a poem.

rural
loam
digester
dumps
compost
hanging
cartel
burial
peels
scraps
Bonus: crunchy-granola

Looking for inspiration, I read the list a couple times, finally paused at the word digester, and wonder, Exactly what is a digester? Can I play with its meaning?

I’d applied my knowledge of English morphemes deducing that a digester is one who digests. And putting that into the context of the article, I was pretty sure a digester is some type of mechanism used in the decomposition process of organic material. I typed the word into my e-dictionary, still searching for inspiration. There I read that a digester is “a container in which substances are treated with heat, enzymes, or a solvent in order to promote decomposition or extract essential components.” Couple that with my recent awareness of people who have risen out of the dire circumstances of their lives, some the only one in their family to do so, some who fled their homeland for asylum in another land. And add some thoughts about freedom, what it really means, what it doesn’t mean, and a faint trail led me to think of a digester as a person who decomposes life and overcomes. With that thought, I played with the list, and this poem found me.

The  Digester

In the rural recesses
of his thoughts,
Near the burial grounds
of all to be forgotten,
Where he dumps falsehoods
once thinly veiled by truth
removed like orange peels,
Where hanging scraps
of broken promises
mingle with crunchy-granola
dreams soggy in disappointment,
He will rise out of
the compost of his living,
A digester of life,
strong in the loam of
his humanity, free
of the family cartel.

© 2017 Alice Nine


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