The Bin Bag of Banishment


It’s looking rather full.


I’ve crammed in Sunday teatime television,

doctors’ receptionists who treat patients like The Enemy,

owners of yappy dogs no bigger than a gerbil,

the greatest hits of Simon and Garfunkel,

soggy bits of celery in soup,

anyone who believes armed conflict is a sane way of solving a dispute,

sentences that start, ‘With all due respect…’,



Margaret Thatcher’s voice,

people who draw quote marks in the air,

and poetry you need a bloody PhD to understand.


I’m going to shove it in the boot

of a clapped-out Ford Cortina

and drive at twenty miles an hour

down the middle of the road

to the scrap yard.

I’m going to crush it in the crusher

over and over

until it’s the size of a walnut.

I’m going to toss it into the ashtray

on the way home.


Under cover of darkness

I’m going to creep into my neighbour’s garden

and feed the scrunched-up morsel

to his goat.


And in due course

the contents of the bag

will become


what they’ve always been


And then


I’m going to smile.


(c) Helen Lewis 2006

One response to “The Bin Bag of Banishment

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