We have pitched an innocent man against the
thousand blades of grass.
Once a week the battle is waged;
each green sword glints with dew.
But our man is well armed: we have given
him motors, gasoline, blades faster
than the wind, and so he goes trampling
because our yard needs taming:
He leaves the lawn strewn with
wilting corpses—their rot attracts
a pair of curious bluebirds.
For the moment victory smells like sprinklers
and empty fields.
For the moment our house is in order.
Then a rainstorm soaks the earth
like an oil-well run amok,
wreaks havoc on gutters and sewers,
floods the streets, knocks down trees,
holes us up in our homes,
where through windows we observe
hope erase carnage.
A week passes and the proud grass
again waves beneath the wind.
The grass has a human spirit that
grows endlessly, sprouts from the soil,
and wonders why we bother to hire
mercenaries to fight a war
that must never come to an end.
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