Cutting Tall Grass


Molly Peacock, on what poetry does to you: “Like being stupidly in love, this art leaves you dumbstruck. Yet how rare—and thrilling—to be struck dumb in the all too articulate world.” (from How to Read a Poem… and Start a Poetry Circle)





I love the sound of lawnmowers each year.

There’s a woman in her workpants smelling of

gasoline and cut grass, wiping a smear

of grease on her head while blotting a swelling of

sweat from her head under her plastic visor.

I’m not sure whether she loves that machine.

Short grass is none the wiser for the razor,

so the love of mowing it is love of sheen.

But one must love the vehicle, the sun,

the bugs thrown up behind and the swallows

snatching bugs at the wheels to love a lawn,

the old grass spewn in the bleak shadows,

the new grass smelling of wet and slight rot,

to love to live between what is and what is not.


by Molly Peacock

from Cornucopia, New and Selected Poems

2 comments on “Cutting Tall Grass

  1. Adriana Degetau says:

    extraño el olor a pasto cortado. En realidad extraño el pasto, aquí en the world
    of cement where people must live to make a living.

  2. tienes razón. es olor muy distinto, como pocos otros. just smelling it, conjures up images, sensations. that’s one of the problems with cities: too much concrete, not enough grass

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