These wings fall down upon these blades of grass,
And my mechanical scythe reaps all weeds;
Though I a weed, a reaper who does pass
Through field and grove, sheering, shaping ill deeds.
With open plane set before my green face,
I fly with haste, making wide paths to cross;
No snares snap the sinews of my beast’s race,
Re-turning, I roar back against the dross.
The reaper does no wrong when in the zone,
When casting aside the old for the new;
Beams burn his holy head, winds whip through bone,
But he plods on, through heat or morning dew.
The reaper does no wrong, only right,
He mows all day, feeling light and quite gay;
Robins rejoice, children sing at the sight
Of new shorn grass open for work and play.
But at curb’s sight, this mower’s pulse will rise,
For he watches his left wing, lest it slips;
He watches the curb with care, fearing his demise,
He hears a clunk-clunk, his right wing he clips.
June 4, 2015
Painting: “A Rustic Holding A Scythe”
By Peter De Wint,
Oil on panel, n.d.
*Idea taken from Marvell’s fantastic “Mower” poems.