“I yawn and look up at the pool blue ceiling, and then it hits me. No! Today’s the day. The day that I have to take out the garbage.”
I yawn and look up at the pool blue ceiling, and then it hits me. No! Today’s the day. The day that I have to take out the garbage. I love garbage. I collect garbage, and I’ve been saving all the garbage I love most! For example, my rainbow tin can with a crab on it that’s from Mexico or my collection of Disney plastic bags. But my mami said that today the garbage is going in the garbage.
I roll over in my bed and cover my head with my fluffy pink blanket my abuela gave me when she visited.
“Nya, get up. It’s the day for you to take all the garbage out,” my mom says with glee.
“No, I won’t,” I grumble. “And for the last time, it’s not garbage. It’s my treasure!”
“Nya, for the last time, you have to take the garbage out, so you can collect more. Wouldn’t it be nice to have new fresh garbage?” my mami says, making an excellent point.
“Yes, yes it would, but this is my precious garbage. How can I just give it away like… trash?” I say.
“Nya Solone Rodrigues, get down here this instant. Or I’ll burn it, and you know I will,” my mami says with satisfaction.
“Fine,” I say and hop up on my too-hard bed and trudge very slowly down the stairs. I’ll do what she wants, but I won’t do it fast. When I get downstairs, my mami has a wide smile on her face and a huge garbage bag in her hand.
I grab the garbage bag and give her my best stink eye. I walk out the door with my mom trailing closely behind, to make sure I don’t hide the bag somewhere and use a decoy like I did last time on garbage day. I walk up to the garbage bag and kiss my garbage knowing this is one of the last times I ever will. My mami opens the blue lid, and without looking, I slowly lift my garbage bag up and kiss it one last time and sling it in.
I immediately start crying. I blubber like a baby as I say, “It’s my garbage.”
My mami, now with sympathy in her eyes, says, “I’m sorry, sweetie, but you know this is the only way.”
“I know,” I whisper. “I know.”
My mami says, “At least you’ll have your memories.”
I exclaim with delight, “You’re right. I’m gonna go make a poem!”
And I write this:
A poem by Nya
I remember my lucky rainbow lobster can from Mexico.
I remember the gum wrapper I found on the ground in the shopping mall.
I remember the hippie headband I found soaking wet down at the beach.
I remember the toilet roll I found at the Macy’s department store bathroom.
I remember the little fancy hand napkins I also found at the Macy’s department store bathroom.
I remember the doll head I found in my cousin’s backyard.
I remember how the doll was missing a tooth and had blood all over its head.
I remember my sister’s first pineapple rind.
I remember the tooth I found in the sandbox.
I remember the plastic bottle I found with Dora all over it.
I remember the Elsa and Anna chicken noodle soup can.
Oh trash, oh trash it doesn’t matter if you’re here or in the garbage can. I will always always remember you.