Sterling Warner: “Kick the Bucket”

Kick the Bucket

Like a hollowed-out pumpkin
an empty orange bucket
sat on my back-porch stoop,
job completed, five-gallon
contents exhausted, container
just a lonely remnant inviting
children to flick it over, palm
the pleated bottom like a tabla
or pound corners with garden stakes
as if playing a floor tom-tom;
the pail’s white plastic handle
arced like an anemic tambourine
erect, bending indifferently
once flipped horizonal.

Oh, days came & went, tasks evolved,
trash stuffed space where machines
filled paint cans, shook pigment,
stamped a slogan that pealed
off the vessel’s exterior; creative
uses expanded, cobwebs cluttered
the uncovered lid before kicked
sideways so Scott could practice
golf putts till winter snowdrifts 
buried its Halloween semblance
welcomed springtime renewal
as rodents huddled, built nests
& guarded offspring oblivious
of their Home Depot connection.

About the Author: A Washington-based author, educator, and Pushcart nominee for poetry, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in many international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as Street Lit., The Ekphrastic ReviewAnti-Heroin Chic, The Fib Review, and Sparks of Calliope. Warner also has written seven volumes of poetry, including Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux, Edges, Rags & Feathers, Serpent’s Tooth, Flytraps,  and  Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction (2022)—as well as. Masques:Flash Fiction & Short StoriesCurrently, he writes, turns wood, and hosts virtual poetry readings. 

Image Credit: Russell Lee “Old gold ore bucket at abandoned mine. Pinos Altos, New Mexico” (1940) Public domain image courtesy of the Library of Congress

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