Poem | Mowing

for what I hope is the last time
until spring, I remember the house at the bottom
of Canal Street, its back porch sinking
into a kingdom of tall weeds
where a junker rested on blocks,
and Mr. Kluhan slouched in a moldy chair
drinking from a quart bottle of Schmidt’s
while whittling a small world
of birds, animals and men.
In a good mood he’d offer one
to a kid who ventured close
enough to watch him, the strange one
our parents used as a warning
whenever we complained
at having to brush our teeth,
tie our laces, recite our prayers, any
of the thousand small tasks
that shape a life, like this mowing,
this endless mowing.

Published in the June 17, 2016 issue: 

Paul Martin’s poems have appeared in America, Boulevard, New Letters, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, Southern Poetry Review, and Tar River. His book, Closing Distances, was published by The Backwaters Press. His chapbook, Floating on the Lehigh, won the 2015 Grayson Books Chapbook Contest, and another, Rooms of the Living, was co-winner of the Autumn House Press Chapbook Prize.

Also by this author
Poem | 'Floating on the Lehigh'

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