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Blacktown: Boyd Street I

For the first days of our marriage
we lived on Boyd street, near
the aquatic centre and a patch
of grass cut diagonally across
by a mildewed concrete footpath
and with a single park bench, smack
bang in the middle, next to a sign that
read “International Peace Park”.

My dad called it the dumpy
side of Blacktown and there
was hard rubbish dumped
in front of our townhouse complex -
a dirty mattress, mouldy pieces
of wood, a broken pram

they remained there
for the duration of our tenancy
one of the many ugly tattoos
on the skin of the street

A grey Lancer with a shattered window
Was sitting at the front of the complex
when I went to get our council
bins the morning after collection.

I tugged on the handle but
the recycling bin was so heavy it
wouldn’t budge. The other fifteen
or so bins were empty, some
blocking the driveway, red
and yellow lids hanging limply.

I lifted the lid and stuffed in
at the top of our bin were jars
filled with orange oil, the Durra
brand jars you get from the Afghani
supermarket on Main street,
old brown pants, stinking
banana peels and orange scraps.
Not our rubbish. 

I lugged the bin back,
the wheels clattering like a
suitcase over the driveway
after dumping the excess
into somebody else’s bin.

Go to Maryam Azam's profile to read more poems