My neighbor Bill mows his lawn
every three days, unless it rains,
then it’s every four. Retired,
too much time on his hands —
we wave in passing
but keep to ourselves: those times
we’ve spoken, the telltale signs
of a stutter.
He rides his red Toro,
buzzard circles in the grass,
always at suppertime,
and uses a leaf blower as loud
as a jet engine. He makes
cocktail hour chatter
around the grill a challenge.
Bill planted roses
after his wife died, crimson knockouts,
in bloom spring through fall.
Easy keepers, but he worries over them
like a child and her blanket.
One day his tools will
skin with rust,
the yard will sprout dandelion,
clover, weeds. Some quiet
Sunday night we’ll say
we miss the old guy,
he wasn’t so bad.
Someone new will move in,
we’ll bring bread, a bottle
of red, we’ll tell them —
you’ve got a tough act to follow.
“skin with rust” is such great phrasing. The rhyme and cadence in the last stanza works so well. Enjoyed this!
Lovely compassionate poem. I wish you were my neighbor.
Yup, ” one day his tools will skin with rust ”
and that following the third stanza.
Signed, a fan.
There’s so much to enjoy here, but as a line “after his wife died, crimson knockouts” is just really compelling to me
I, too, especially love the middle stanza
Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed this!
I miss Bill already