I’ve fought my way to easier days –
So others should who find life hard.
So why are there, beneath my gaze,
So many single mothers in my yard?
They even carp when I approach
Their feeders with a brimming scoop.
Is this some temple that I broach,
Flicking away their caking poop?
Then there are those who lollop past
My weeding labors to the patch
Of heirloom strawberries, and cast
Their nibbled discards in the thatch
I’ve tucked below the tender shoots
That dream of peaches; there they pause
To drill the soil and taste the roots
And pluck the bark with eager claws.
Five or six babies each, and who
Hears of the father, after that?
Nothing I say to them gets through,
Though I compare them to my cat –
Never in trouble — or a horse,
Who works. They only care about
Each other — and themselves, of course:
Pneumatic beak, hydraulic snout!
These creatures of the fields and air
Are more my burdens day by day,
The layabouts for whom I care.
Whose garden is it anyway?