Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Monday morning of a long weekend
she opens one eye to check the clock
reclaiming her share of the sheets, she turns to sleep again

she’s aware of a sound outside
must be someone mowing their lawn
with a handmower
the rhythmic push, rest, and spin of it
thoughtful not to break the morning too early with motor sounds
she thinks
and sleeps again

some time later
eyes still shut tight
she knows from stillness he’s awake
the mower’s still mowing somehwere out back
what time is it?
9, he says
she’s on top of the sheet, he’s underneath
silly morning sandwich in a bed all askew from dream-wanderings
she opens eyes
“if you let the dog out and come back, I’ll stay”
takes 5 minutes to register, but he goes
she jumps up to pee, fluffs pillows, straightens sheet and crawls back in
the mower still mows

who is mowing and where?
our yards are too small for long mowing like that
is someone cutting hay? or grooming a putting green?
maybe it’s someone thinking while they mow
someone who lost track of the mowing while
sorting out a problem
maybe it’s a man whose wife left early to work at the hospital or 7-11 this holiday Monday
maybe he’s got nothing to do and he wishes she’d stayed
so he mows the lawn and thinks about what (or if) to say

maybe his wife didn’t come home last night, after her shift as an
ambulance driver
maybe he knows in his heart that she’s left him for the other ambulance driver
or the admissions woman at the hospital
because she always phones him when she works a double shift
so she must be gone
and he’s crying while he mows the lawn

maybe it’s a woman mowing the lawn
her kids are inside eating Captain Crunch
watching cartoons
while her husband pops out to get the paper and Starbucks for both of them
so they can sip and read while the kids veg in their pajamas
but first she needs to mow the lawn

maybe it’s a young man whose parents are coming home
after leaving him the house for the long weekend
(he only had one small party on Saturday night
and nothing got broken, and he’s tossed out the beer cans)
he just remembered that he promised to mow the lawn
while they were gone
and they’re due back at noon

now it’s 9:17
and she thinks how her husband bought a handmower last year
maybe the neighbour borrowed it from their backyard
not many people have handmowers
maybe her neighbour left the gate partway open
the latch is tricky
and when her husband in his dressing gown and no glasses
let the dog out to pee
the dog found the open gate and escaped
now her husband is roaming the neighbourhood calling for the dog
before he finds the dog, he’ll meet the neighbour mowing the lawn
and find out who it is, what’s the story
he’ll come back and tell her
only it can’t be as interesting as she’s imagined

for old married couples,
morning sex is like those two bags of bagels waiting in the cupboard
a matter-of-fact choice of multi-grain or everything
or maybe just coffee for now
nourishing and predictable
no bedsheet havoc or vocal abandon
(especially with teenage offspring still sleeping nearby)
a happy choice with little pressure
there’ll always be more available
whenever you’re really hungry

he slips through the door
and into the sheets, open for him
“they’re fed” he says
“I know” she says
outside the handmower is silent


Carol said...

You are one fun Mompoet!

Lazy Daisy said...

Wow, what a wonderful imagination you have....I love all the possible scenarios of the lawn mower and the relaxed atmosphere of the couple.

brilliant...I loved it!

Lynn Valley Girl said...