Thursday, August 7, 2008


The title of this poem was cribbed from Robert Frost.
I'm sorry he used it first, but I will not let his luck
stand in my path to claim it, too. This poem has none
of the mysterious aura surrounding Frost's. Nothing
here will entice readers like those who believe they
know Frost's meaning about a whispering, smooth
scythe. No hay, just grass, we're mowing this morning.

The mowing my granddaughter did today for the first
time is a different thing. A pre-teen, she wants to learn
how to mow grass, not with a scythe, but a lawn mower.
The venerable Powercraft push mower, a family friend
for two generations, has been put out to pasture some
years ago. My Toro mower, with gears and gadets to
please, waits patiently to be primed, coughs itself into
starting, drones happily as a June bug on an oak.

I mowed a row back and forth, showing her some minor
hazards such as rocks and toads (another poet probably
used that toad earlier, too, but never mind) or baby birds
and the occasional black or green garden snake, the kind
that lives in fescue grass or cool clay among us in Carolina.

After a couple of rounds, she has the knack of it. No more
reason for me to stand nearby commenting about strands
of grass which hadn't been mowed closely enough, or her
lackadaisical lapse in overlapping. No point in say here
you mowed well or there's a patch needs work. My concern
was not the straight row or the amount of time she took. She
knows I'm watching while she mows even if I'm not there.
I will be looking long after she quits mowing this morning.

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