The Fascination of Wheelie-Bins


It scrapes, clatters, rumbles, trundles.
Irritating, ominous, yet somehow reassuring.
The hauling of a tumbril? No, just someone
retrieving their newly-emptied wheelie-bin.

No mystery here. So why is it that I
jump to my feet, rush to the window,
every time I hear it?

“Nosy Parker!”
Yes, guilty as charged, M’lud;
but I plead mitigating circumstance.
How else am I to track, to keep tabs on
the mysterious comings and goings
of the denizens of these flats?
How else to know who lives where?
By their wheelie-bins shall ye know them.

In this case, for example; this enigmatic,
hooded figure, who trudges back
to his flat so slowly, weighed down
by his own thoughts, not by
the freshly-emptied wheelie-bin
he lugs behind him.

By their wheelie-bins shall ye know them, M’lud.
Or not, as the case may be.
But beware, M’lud, have a care;
for there is much to be learnt
from just who lives where.

This is another poem in the continuing series of poems inspired by events and characters in the flats/apartments where I live.  The day of bin-collection is invariably punctuated, for me, by the sounds of the occupants of the flats retrieving their wheelie-bins.  I am open to the charge of sticking my nose into other people’s business, but I admit I cannot resist the temptation of having a look out of the window, every time I hear that distinctive sound.


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