The Earnestness of the Plowman
I work hard every spring
To redefine the lines between
my lawn and the gravel drive,
the sidewalk and the median that
spans to the curb:
lines blurred by the Plowman
For every winter,
after a long snowfall,
The Plowman comes
to “knock it all back.”
And every year I try to beat him to it;
I hurry out, even as the snow is still falling,
shoveling to find the edges where the driveway ends
and the lawn begins,
to find the lines to stay inside,
to define for the Plowman
those boundaries I love so much:
neat lines–the absolutely satisfying places
between gravel and grass, curb and walkway.
I’ve tried reflective spikes, which shoot up from
the drifting snow: beacons, edges.
But every spring, once the snow pack melts, I pick
chunks of gravel from my lawn and stack the useless spikes.
I lament the wounded earth that summer sometimes heals.
Once, I said to the Plowman (using the most amicable tone)
“One quick swipe up the drive is good enough for me!”
Nodding from the height of his
over-heated terrarium, steaming
with the scent of coffee and male,
he yelled, “no problem!”
in synch with the throb of Tull.
I was a hopeless interloper peering into this
heated world of scents and scraping,
every vent on high, turned inward:
the habitat of The Plowman,
the place from which he delivers upon
his absolute earnest promise to
“knock it all back!”—the place where
staying inside the lines isn’t good enough.