I remember that day
a early spring day
cold snow melted away
and grass turning green

long cold winter gone
days of shivering cold
dormant brown grass lay not
beneath crystal blanket cold

spring task was before
needing to be done
in cool early morn
before warmth of the sun

warm house cozy was
wanting there only to stay
not to venture into the new day
and the task leave undone

my tools lay at hand
bright hard stainless steel
soft fragile fingers to replace
that the work might be done

untie rope knotted tight
loosening its length
that the tarp I might free
set it wrinkled to the side

my tractor lie beneath
painted red and black steel
cracking vinyl seat
steering wheel crooked still

press down the brake hard
release the handbrake
shift into neutral
and push it into the yard

dry grasses lie in clumps
through cold winter bitter cold
softening the curves of hard steel
still lying there beneath

lying down upon the grass
poking sharply into my flesh
gazing into belts and gears
finding pins to undo

set them on the footboard
so they will not be lost
bright steel on worn footpad
glittering in morning sun

rising from the grass
going into dark garage
where the mower deck does lie
under webs that spiders spun

seeking grips that are safe
not edges of sharp steel
with straining muscles lift
and stagger into the light

Sun the cool was
shining softly a moment ago
too hotly now beats down
on my stumbling steps

to red tractor now return
and carefully lowered the deck
and push it underneath
and most carefully it align

swinging levers to attach
and set with shining pins
drag bar to attach
and cables set in place

loops of metal with oil slick
most carefully must undo
that belts of rubber frayed
on pulleys then be placed

sun does hotly pierce
my flesh as task is done
and grass hives have made
itching fiercely on my flesh

opening the hinged hood
the oil level to check
the gas tank to be filled
and the stopcock to undo

my pants of denim blue
within the pocket deep
lies the shining key
that the power will be free

hands now soiled with black grease
the choke now engages
the lock now is undone
and captive lightning is set free

cranking coughing sounds
engaging into a roar
white smoke briefly does blow
as the engine settles down

carefully the lever I set
to the proper speed
shift it into the right gear
and the brake release

lurching it forward goes
and I steer it into place
long winter grass to mow
that green it might now become

grabbing the lever long
the deck height to be set
the power takeoff to engage
sharp blades spinning cut

the tractor now does shake
and with roaring forward goes
cutting down the tender life
on a warm spring day



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