Juniper, holly, boxwood— they never let go of prickly green,
slouch against the house, sharp-tongued and stolid.
Who planted these yard brats? Why not camellia,
she too never drops her leaves but embarrasses
with showy bloom. Let’s rip out Mr. Boxwood,
uproot him for lack of imagination,
his bureaucrat’s way of going along,
same attitude every day, same complaint,
never a budge or bend of the rules.
For the daisy’s sake, we’ll donate the shrubs
to the county clerk’s office, that low brick enforcer.
In this time of shedding and rebud,
when everything else is full of effort,
let’s free the house, use the front door.
from Contrary, University of Chicago’s Literary Journal, contrarymagazine.com, Spring 2015