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  • Michelle Meyer

What a Bunch of Rubbish

Interpretation by Carol Inderieden

We have a secret camp spot east of the Gila mountains. It’s defined by craggy rocks, a babbling brook, pines that somehow find enough water within the rock to grow round at the base and tall at the top, tiny white and pink flowers, a waterfall, and too many overlooks to count.

When we drove the two miles in we expected to see an evening silhouette of mountains shaped like the beats of a heart monitor beneath an umbrella of stars.

We didn’t expect the litter.

Prismacolor chips lay all over the ground accompanied by discarded toilet paper, a fire pit full of crushed tin cans and melted plastic water bottles. Uneaten hash browns and gnawed pork chop bones lay exposed on a rock. We felt both insulted and violated by the detritus. I guess it’s not such a secret spot after all, but it’s nice to pretend that in some way, it’s ours. Always waiting. Always quiet. Always a sanctuary. Never a dump.

The prismacolor turned out to be dyed eggshells made presumably in celebration of Easter, a Christian holiday that honors the son of the Christian God who is, according to Christian text, the earth’s creator.

We don’t celebrate Easter, but we do celebrate creation and the daily miracles of sunrise, sunset, and earth’s spring rebirth. So we picked up the litter and in the process found a shiny new penny. There’s a children’s song that says something along the lines of… find a penny pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck. We decided to leave the penny behind because we know now that our not-so-secret little camp spot needs all the luck it can get.

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