Yard Work

Pardon me
while I step out for a moment;
I need some fresh air
for my Grievances.
Got this spot out back
where I confront Dark Things,
propping them in a corner
facing the stockade fence
wearing their Dunce caps.
I guard my Complaints,
patrolling before them,
brandishing my spade,
ensuring their compliance
with the terms of their Banishment.

A friend wrote to tell me how much he enjoyed this poem in my book SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying. He referred to it as "a perfect (barely) Spring poem," so I thought it might be a good time to share it here again. C’mon, sister Spring, you can do it!


  1. Yes, I agree with your friend. Your extended metaphor is amazingly accurate. Spring renovations in the garden and dealing with niggling complaints have surprisingly many things in common.

  2. Ha. this is so clever and so well-realized. I need some fresh air for my grievances too -- they are unlike plants in that they possibly wilt in sun, though they certainly feed off of my CO2. Thanks, Marian. K.

  3. Love the plainspoken feel of this poem - plus it made me smile.

  4. Totally relate, here! And I love your use of capitalization to provide focus, emphasis, meaning.

  5. I've been looking at the messes in my yard, literally, lately. I have a spade but I'm not very good at using it. I'm better at dreaming of flying.
    My messes not so literal? I'd rather not be thinking of them. I cover them with a piece of canvas.

    1. yes, well you really get my point, Jim! :)

  6. I was thinking about a hard rake. Love the image of dunce caps. http://www.looseleafnotes.com/2014/03/20274/

  7. ah, thank you, dear people! finally, finally, it feels like spring has arrived here. i might even be inspired to do some patrolling in the backyard this weekend. :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!