The man across the street is mowing 40 acres on a small lawn mower.
It’s so small, it must take him days, so I imagine that he likes it. He
must. He goes around each tree carefully. He has 10,000 trees; it’s
a tree farm, so there are so many trees. One circle here. One circle
there. My dog and I’ve been watching. The light’s escaping the sky,
and there’s this place I like to stand, it’s before the rise, so I’m invis-
ible. I’m standing there, and I’ve got the dog, and the man is mow-
ing in his circles. So many circles. There are no birds or anything, or
none that I can see. I imagine what it must be like to stay hidden,
disappear in the dusky nothing and stay still in the night. It’s not
sadness, though it may sound like it. I’m thinking about people
and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than
anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine,
and how it’s hard not to always want something else, not just to let
the savage grass grow.
“Mowing” by Ada Limón, from Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Ada Limón.