Morning, not my best time any more, to rush

past coffee and lazily checking computer

while eating dry corn flakes, unsweetened.

This phase of Alzheimer's, all-consuming,

brings a new routine, and I'm still

adapting, grumpily until noon.

Garbage trucks have also changed their routine,

beeping and grinding and blocking

our thin road, the men happily hopping on and off

with their messy hair or shaved heads and

tattoos on muscled arms, smiling and laughing

as if they have not a care in the world,

so I love them for this and wave,

reaching my left hand high.

My husband in the passenger seat, worried

about the wind mussing his hair, asks me

"Do you know those men?" a vestige of jealousy

in his question, with my answer honest and short,

"They seem happy doing a necessary job;

It's my way of saying thank you."

Our town no longer has a biannual junk day

so people put out still useful tables or

boxes marked FREE, after a yard sale

full of odds and ends, chairs,

slightly worn or chipped, sometimes perfect.

After dropping him off at the Adult Day Center,

I workout then drive home, noticing a gilded statue

left behind by the garbage men.

She is an angel holding something in both hands, but

whatever it was has broken off,

and I decide to bring her home despite

the obvious hole in her serene head, bent in prayer.