Thursday, April 25, 2013

Toy Lawnmower

Toy Lawnmower

To learn to mow the grass,
pretend to mow the grass.

Pretend enough and you’ll
get good. Playtime trains

the wobbly, imprecise body
for how it will be later, give

it fifteen years and the plastic
imitation of a mower will

be replaced with the real
deal, blades, sliced grass.

Why, when things are cut,
do they smell like they are

growing, strong, wild. Give
it time, it means you, give

yourself over to the force of
years, see how growing back

does not work as you thought
it did, how the grass glows

green at night. Fifteen summers
from now, you’ll be able to hire

the boy next door who will be
born next year, he will offer

to give you a hand around the
yard, to give you his hands.

6 comments:

  1. Now there's some time-lapse photography! Quite poignant. The clippings are the only thing that stays fixed.

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  2. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love this one. Only have time for one reading at the moment, but wow, what a concept. Reminds me of Richard Wilbur's "Death of a Toad"--and that's a compliment.

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  3. OK, three readings, and even with the title, I'd never have guessed how you'd get from the first stanza to the (gorgeous, elegiac) final two. Wondrous! And with this haunting gem in the middle:

    Why, when things are cut,
    do they smell like they are

    growing, strong, wild.

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