Sergeant Ron’s Reveille

At 7:30 a.m.
every day he mows,
rides around and around
and around his yard— the revved beast
our daily dread. Neighbors
grumble under Sunday quilts
but nothing stops him.
Crew-cut grass salutes
the fuming machine,
the cropped green hisses
too short!  His hair,
white and tangled, unshorn
since the war. That purpled face
peers between fence slats,
desperate to provoke
a complaint. Fenced-in
with heaps of metal, once-humming
motors: a 4-door sedan,
boat on blocks, a glider stilled
in vines and rust. He circles
the unfaithful, cuts right
up to those obsolete engines, livid
at the mounds of silent, stubborn junk.

from Connotation Press: An Online Artifact,, December 2010