WORKING IN THE YARD

The older couple on the corner

scratches the ground with antique rakes

day after day after the last snow melts.

They complain that leaves blown from other yards

clutter the chiseled terraces

of their newly mowed lawn.

 

Wrapped in sweaters and stocking hats,

these yard people bag up winter’s bones,

clip, chop and haul,

even as weeds begin to blossom.

A month ago they trimmed the spreader bushes

whose huge, cool shadows now darken the marigolds.

 

Squirrels attack the feeder they have hung

for the redbird, thrush and titmouse.

“A blamed squirrel can east anything,”

they keep saying over the fence,

and contrive baffles and screen guards

to keep the tree rats out.

They spend the day spraying the spurces

spider mites are sucking dry.

 

When the Angelus tolls,

man, woman and a squirrel,

who slouches behind them unseen,

squint together in the advancing dusk,

fold their hands on their bellies.

 
 
 
 
 

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