Poem 20141119

one summer
when there was nothing going on
my step-dad
needed help with his business
because things had backed up

he cut lawns
pulled weeds
with a bent back
hands knotted from arthritis
and a wheezing cough that
would kill him
in twenty years
he could hire a day laborer, he said,
(okay, he said Mexican),
but the last guy
had tried to unclog the mower
while the blade spun
and sliced a finger in all that wet
green grass plugging up the chute

don’t do that
he said
just turn the mower off first

so we cut grass
edged lawns
and the sun rose early and hot
and the grass stayed wet and rose high
and i got paid almost nothing
which was fair