I've been watching a lot. Secretly staring from across rooms. Taking in small details from the corners of my eyes. Memorizing bits and pieces to hold on to later. I stare out windows, unseen from the second floor. The scarlet mower bright as a cardinal against the summer green grass. She pushes. Petite but, sturdy is the word that comes to mind. Muscled legs in short denim shorts propel her onward. Black tank top. Black high top Converse. She has wires pouring from her ears. Her fine boned jaw is set, determined. Sharp cheekbones breaking the softness of rounded nose and high arched brow. Regal is the word that comes to mind. Her shorn hair, tree bark brown and damp with sweat. Gone the stark white of childhood, the later deep burnished gold, thick and wavy. It now matches exactly the deep mahogany of her eyes. Exposes the surprising grace of the rising slope curving from neck to shoulder. The unexpected charm of sinew and rounded bicep. Grasping the handle with deeply calloused palms. The same grip with which she grabs an opponents GI, and holds them to the floor. The same grip with which she grabs a bar to pull herself up ten times, in preparation as a warrior. Powerful is the word that comes to mind. "Where has my little girl gone?", is the thought I search. The mower stops and starts stops and starts. I wondered if something was wrong with it, so I went out to see and end up seeing only her. She lets go and the engine dies. Creeping to the front of the mower she bends her knees and slowly reaches out, then suddenly scoops. Her hands cupped closed she travels to the wooded area at the end of the yard and stoops again, opening her hands and watching, then returns to mowing only to stop again moments later and repeat again. I can't resist. I blow my cover on the upstairs balcony to ask, "What are you doing?" "They're baby lizards, she says. They aren't moving out of the way. The brown ones. They just sit there so I'm moving them. '' The engine revs up again and I watch. She is almost directly beneath me. She grabs a large brown leaf and begins coaxing something into it. Her solid legs flexed, her rounded shoulders hunched. She stands. Her face tilted upward to look at me, her dark eyes innocent and sweet. And for a flash she is five again as she holds the leaf up to show me. "It's a slug, she says. Where should I put it?"
The Littlest Mower
She mows in beauty like a knight
A determined force they cannot fight
All fall before her blades when she pass
Cutting a swath through the grass
At the same time not depraved
Knowing some souls can be saved
Powerful leader, and never pawn
Joan d' Arc of the lawn
This has been a shameless and sacrilegious parody of Byron's stunning She Walks in Beauty
Brought to you by:
The Center for Compulsive Bad Poetry Research- also known as my brain.
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