The Prize-winning Lawn

Like us, the world changes

And can never be the same.

And if you could go back, what would it be?

Would you be a kid again? Those teenage

years of

Abandon and discovery?

A sky black as peat, clear water,

Uncounted creatures flying overhead

Or crawling below?

They never really wanted to swallow us.

If they did, would it be so bad?

Volcano, lava, and rock. Spewing out life

like so much

Poetic nonsense.

There is no way of gauging

All that has been lost

And what is yet to be gained.

Stop thinking, shut up brain.

If I were animal, I would know what to do.

Almost without thinking.

I think I am more animal than human now.

More vegetable than mineral.

Sometimes I crawl on all fours.

Oh, honey my darling,

What will it be

The chicken or the beef?

The grass is coming in thick now,

Despite the local water regulations.

Despite everything.

Everywhere things are moving–

Cars creep on the overpass,

Stoplights, workers, builders,

Metal cranes.

Honking. Clouds of exhaust,

Debris sloughing through a sluggish ditch.

Billboard words, pictures shift and change.

I know the what but no longer the why.

And the wild man running along the street

Shouting obscenities

Was once like me.

Headed toward some dark salvation.

In another world he

chased away the darkness with a pointed


You stare at the crack between brick

And the brown things poking between

them —

Imagine that it wouldn’t take long

For the wild to take over.

Copyright Abigail Swire 2017.

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