[Photograph of placid lawns]

Just lawns.

Cubed separations marking out the street before tidy clapboard houses.
A patient mailbox at each entry, prepped for the letter carrier.
Occasional distinctions:
      A red and yellow pedal-toy
      Stray rakes and trowels
      Potted marigolds waiting to be fed.

I gaze out a spacious picture window,
reassured by the lawns’ rectitude
      Their repose
      eluding flamboyance.

A generous noon allows their densely limed expanses to smile.

The tacit collusion dictates
that they will not speak of what may lie behind the facades.
      Framed hard-won diplomas
      Bitter disputes afflicting over-extended couples
      Proud hand-shaped woodworking
      Fatigued paneling
      Furtive needles
      Felicitous antique figurines
      Defenseless adolescents who wrestle with the world’s abuse in darkened basements.
A uniform turf before each residence reminds us we’re together anyway.
We pace our lives by recognizing our unanimity among differences.

In Autumn we tip our hats in farewell to topiary magnificence.
Winter lays to bed the distinctions between plots for four months of rest.
And Spring bustles to prepare the lawns for a new year of overseeing
a propriety of gentle co-existence.

[Photograph of lawn with artifacts]

This poem was published in issue 5 of Poetry Leaves, 2020.

Andy Oram
January 9, 2018

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