Magazine September 21, 2020, Issue

The Mower

(MariuszBlach/Getty Images)

When I was young and full of mockery
And played whole days by old Jane Frances’ gate
My Grandpa’s visits brought this gift of fate
That he, unasked, would cut the grass for me.

With a bound and a bang I’d scamper off
From near that patch of many-rooted ground
As quickly as I heard the mower sound
For fear some neighbor catch me out and scoff.

The northern summer common seemed and rare
Its gold and green flung widely in the sun
And by that summer’s ebb I was as grown
As any sapling in the grass-sweet air.

But he, with shirtsleeves rolled up to the bicep,
Would cut each narrow strip …

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Novelist and critic Lee Oser teaches English at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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