yard work


    I mow the grass not out of conquest,
    but obligation — even simple necessity:
    if I don’t, our little dog disappears in
    the growing greenery that passes for
    a lawn. I’m not much of a turf builder.
    And so I pull-start the machine and
    begin traversing the yard, cutting
    patterns as Ella runs ahead, buoyantly
    announcing impending doom to the
    weeds and daffodils. We both get tired
    about halfway through the job; she lays
    down on the porch and I keep to my
    appointed rounds. She joins me again as
    I push the now silent mower back into
    its small shed; we turn to walk to the house,
    and I see one diligent and determined daffodil
    who has managed, magically, to avoid being
    cut down by my actions. Her small yellow head
    waves as we pass, not taunting as one might
    expect, but swaying as if to say the blades
    don’t get the last word. Such news is worthy of
    a cookie and a nap for both me and the pooch.



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