Jerry's sat at the edge of town,
Amidst some shanties and some shacks,
On a dirt road, off the freeway,
And well off the beaten track.
For as long as folks remembered,
Jerry's Junk Yard had been there,
Through several generations,
Passed down from heir to heir.
An eyesore, to be sure,
Per the criteria of most,
But no one paid it much attention,
In their thoughts 'twas lowermost.
Until one day, a terrible wind,
Blew through the town and all around,
It leveled all the shacks and shanties,
Baring more of Jerry's to the town.
"Ugly!" said the citizens,
Pointing Jerry's way,
"That junk yard's got to go!
We cannot let it stay!"
Angry words were spoken,
"Tear it down!" one person cried,
"Build a wall!" said someone else,
And the folks in town chose sides.
"No, no! It's got to go!"
Claimed another faction,
"Hold off! Let's take a vote
To decide the final action!"
"Okay - the democratic way!"
They shook hands and all agreed,
Though no one bothered to ask Jerry,
Who was hurting and aggrieved.
Jerry's lovely Junk Yard,
Sitting at the edge of town,
How could they, with clear conscience,
Cast a vote to tear it down?
Jerry looked around the place,
Choking back his tears,
The stories that old yard could tell,
If folks would take the time to hear.
In one spot, old grills and stoves,
Old washers - wringers, too,
Big cabinets for old radios,
And old television tubes.
In the center, a mountain of trash,
Piled almost as high as the sky,
With coils and springs and wired-up things,
All rusty and dusty - oh my.
Extending along the southern side,
Remains of abandoned cars,
Totally stripped of their finery,
Windows broken and doors ajar.
Old cars that could no longer run,
Whose wheels were now removed,
Once they held important folks,
Ah yes - and lovers, too.
Even a few convertibles,,
Whose tops were long since gone,
Upholstery faded, streaked, and cracked,
Unprotected - exposed too long.
Bent wheels from broken bikes and trikes,
That would never turn again,
Rakes and mowers and old grass blowers,
No point in trying to mend.
Unmatched dishes, saucer-less cups,
Serving platters veined with cracks,
Plaques of silver, gold and copper,
Green with mold and streaked with black.
A graveyard for abandoned things,
Broken, useless, worn,
Thrown out, unwanted, cast aside,
Don't touch - no good - now scorned.
To Jerry, reminders of the past,
To the town folks, ugly clutter,
Poor Jerry didn't stand a chance,
He'd lose his bread-and-butter.
The day before the vote took place,
A wintry blizzard struck,
Folks shut inside for hours on end,
While outside a snowstorm raged amuck.
Through the night the snow poured down,
Icicles hung from every tree,
In the morning, the world was white,
The town, an awesome sight to see.
Jerry's Junk Yard was transformed
Into a fairyland,
Folks could hardly believe their eyes,
Nor could they understand.
That mountain of trash became Pike's Peak,
Where the kids slid down on lids,
The abandoned cars formed craters then
Which became the caves, in which kids hid.
Icicles hanging from dented wheels
Were like diamond chandeliers,
Or candelabras upside-down,
Or gems dangling from milady's ears.
A dazzling light reflected
Off the gold and silver plaques,
It made one catch one's breath,
To see such radiance shine back.
Well, Jerry won the vote - hands down,
Folks now beguiled by the place,
And Jerry wore the biggest smile
Ever seen on one man's face.
A little tweaking here and there
Would make it fine for summer.
With elbow grease and cans of paint
'Twould no longer be a bummer.
Junk, I've heard, is one man's trash,
To another man, his treasure,
Like work to some is drudgery,
But to others, it's pure pleasure.
And beauty, they say, lies in the eye
Of he who does behold it,
Still, others can't see loveliness,
Though in their hands they hold it.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis