Mowing – A Poem


There is orange under the rooftops as the lawnmower sits idle
just finishing the front yard and starting on the back
and running out of gas. A small, lovely girl gowned in white
stands before me, born out of a rustle in the hedge, hair long
and dark as winter. I kneel to her beside the mower
with a red gas container in my hand. A breeze sweeps
across her, burns my eyes, restricts my heart.

Diamonds drop from her hands, dozens of them, bright and
glittering in the morning light, falling feebly to gather at her
feet. I am struck paralyzed by her beauty and sorrow, her fragile
ignorance, so that I want to protect her from this world and the

from the sun and moon
from the still water lake where the old man hunts
with two dogs and a gun
from toast and eggs and starvation
from two story houses where the rooms are crowded
and crumbling
from the foul breath promises of the politicians
and the priests
from utopia that mirrors heaven
on the pages of a coloring book
from the promise of a better tomorrow
from the rotting wood and laboring branches
from the soul that resides only in the past
from what we knew
from what we hoped
what we achieved
wasted and squandered
laughed at
cried over
from what we glorified and demonized
remembered and forgotten

but I know I cannot protect her.

I can only watch her limbs grow transparent as she disappears into
the leafy bushes. “There is my husband,” I hear my wife say to company
who have just arrived. “Isn’t he wonderful? And just look at how well
he tends the yard.”


6 thoughts on “Mowing – A Poem

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