Trash Collector by Bogdan Dragos

A man collecting garbage from the street and picking it up to put in a huge sack behind him
Image Source: Canva

I don’t know what was

more impressive

about him

the fact that he

collected trash

in a bag that was

at least three

times bigger than himself

and carried that bag

on his back

or the fact that

it was winter

and he was only

in shorts

and wasn’t cold

That one evening when

he approached me

in the store’s parking lot

he asked if I’d

seen any cans

I reached into my

shopping bag

and gave him one.

A can of beer

He shook his head

at it. “Nah, man, I can’t

take it like this.”

“What d’ you mean?”

I asked

He pointed at

it. “This ain’t trash,

man. It’s a perfectly

fine can

of beer. I only

take trash.”

Something told me that

the time

and the place was not

for arguing or

demanding explanations

You don’t just

ask a man like him to

explain himself. You just

go on with his

view of the world

So I opened the can

and spilled some

beer on the pavement

and crumpled

the can in my hand

a bit

then I pointed it

to him

He smiled

and reached for it. “Thanks,

man. You’re

a good soul. God’s got

you in bright lens. You’re


“Thanks,” I said

and we parted ways

I keep candy

wrappers in

my pockets ever since

I just don’t wanna

meet him

again and not be

able to give him what he’s

looking for

I’d be sad if

that happened

But I’ve never met him again

since then

and whenever I ask

about him

people don’t know

what I’m talking about


Bogdan Dragos supervises casinos for a gambling company, working twelve-hour shifts locked in a dark office full of TV monitors. There he mostly daydreams and writes poems and stories. He also manages a poetry blog Daydreaming as a profession.

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27 Comments Add yours

    1. ʕっ• ᴥ • ʔっ Thanks!


  1. gwengrant says:

    Such a lovely poem. The dialogue between the two men is just that – a conversation between two men, honest
    and straightforward. No patronising.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Gwen! ( ๑>ᴗ<๑ )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shashi says:

    You have a way with words and the eyes for the normal things that we miss in our day to day routine.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you! (◕‿◕)

      I dedicate everything to an unhealthy amount of daydreaming :))

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Midian Poet says:

    Great Bogdan, sometimes we are part of story and we dont know about it, and lately we write and someone….shining.
    If its not Jack Nicholson in Overlook, is it good, sometimes we free monster in us…they shining too, differently, You know about it, for sure! Sorry for my english, still learning,sir.;) Good creative day to You!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Thank you!

      And don’t worry, English is not my first language either. I had qutie the journey learning it :))

      Good creative day to you as well, my friend!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Kirsten says:

    I like how he kept wrappers in his pocket for the man. Little thoughtful things… Great read and write, Bogdan. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Kirsten! (´・ᴗ・`)

      Yeah, I guess there is something ‘magical’ about helping others who genuinely need it. You walk down the street for example, and some man dressed in rags asks you for a coin. If you don’t have anything to give him and just walk past, somehow it makes you feel poorer than him…

      Weird… ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Kirsten says:

        You’re welcome.

        I know that feeling. Weird and special, like a reminder to always look out for one another. Our hearts can be quite powerful when we listen. 💞

        Liked by 2 people

        1. (・◡・)ノ♡ Exactly!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. brittabenson says:

    This did really feel like a magical story… Great piece, Bogdan.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. (ノ・ω・)ノ Thank you!

    I always loved magical realism. I guess this is something of a shot at it :))


  7. sg11953 says:

    Really liked this, such an interesting scenario.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! ヽ(・ω ・。)ノ


    1. ✩°。⋆(ू˙ヮ​˙ ) Glad you liked it, Dawn! Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jonicaggiano says:

    Dragos this is a very special story, a story within a story about genuine love for another human you don’t know. I loved the end and the way people didn’t understand when he would talk about it. The chocolate without the chocolate at the ending was a show stopper. Your work is so different and that is what I love about it. This touched my heart and I needed that today. I think you have an enormous sensitivity about you. You have a kind heart, keep day dreaming for the rest of us and I know Terveen, Editor – of MasticadoresIndia appreciates you and all the other writers that she has found and I feel blessed to share space with the rest of the amazingly insightful and witty published writers she introduces us too. Thank you for this beautiful story this evening. Hugs, Joni

    Liked by 3 people

  9. (๑*◡*๑) Wow, to know that a poem touched someone’s heart is the highest feeling for a writer 🙂
    So glad to know that, Joni!
    Thank you so much

    Big hugs,
    ˭̡̞(◞⁎˃ᆺ˂)◞ ₎₎=͟͟͞͞

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terveen Gill says:

    Bogdan’s humble and beautiful description of human interaction is something I hope each one of us can relate to. ‘Being human’ isn’t just about kindness and appreciation, it’s related to understanding and acceptance. Letting go of what we know and putting ourselves out there so that even a simple gesture can bring joy to another. There are so many individuals who live unseen and unheard their entire lives. Let’s bring them to the forefront if even for a few minutes.
    Congratulations Bogdan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Terveen! (˵╹⌣╹˵)

      Often it’s the most ignored souls who have the best stories to tell.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear that, Cassa!
      Thank you! \( ^o^ )/


      1. Cassa Bassa says:

        It’s the type of writing I admire. 👍

        Liked by 1 person

        1. (っ╹◡╹)っ


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