. The Garbageman Adrift amid a world that’s lost all rhyme, Where reason reels from first degree assault, It’s little wonder that from time to time One’s inner life can lapse into default. Our former passions have gone absentee And simple griefs cut closer to the bone. The more we rattle on about community, The more the sense we’re really all alone. And there’s a light of course but precious dim (At least we must admit so for the nonce); It simmers in the shadows where it limns The tenderest of all our human wants. Yet when it glows the merest gesture saves: A garbageman who beeps at me and waves… . . Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.