After Larry and his company finish,
no weeds are left on our fifth of an acre lot.
On the first workday, three young men appear.

Larry arrives on day two to comment on our rich soil,
report the arbor vitae to be more on the incline than
the decline, while his crew adds insulation to the ground.

On the third day, one fellow shovels wheelbarrow
upon wheelbarrow of mulch from the back of his truck
while his partner rakes the mulch over the soil.

Schliemann ferociously dug through seven layers of dirt
to find Troy, one civilization atop the other.
A dig in our yard would yield horseshoes and nails, from

all that’s left from the U.S. Army Cavalry Remount Station,
where they supplied horses to the states east of the Mississippi.
Our neighborhood residents thus enhanced our hungry soil.

In 1982 two equine veterinarians started their practice
out of what is now our garage. The additional horse manure
quickly became a beautiful black soil amendment.

Weeds luxuriate in this preparation.
Vinnie, the cat, considers the place his own,
guarding his garden from the cat next door,

while we confine ourselves to the screened-in porch
alongside our house cats, never to undertake an adventure,
too mousy to extend our reach, too lazy

to imagine heaven.