This week --
The neighbor boy forgot to cut the grass.
The lawn remembered that it was a field
And rioted in flowers -- an uprising.
Dandelions, shocking yellow, exploded into seed
White six-pointed stars burst on slender stalks
Harebells hung out, blue and white, tossed up
Overnight from clumps of mock crabgrass
And purple violets gathered under dogwoods --
All reaching toward the democratic sun
Celebrating blessed reprieve
From the inexorable (almost) mower.
And I'm relieved, I guess, to be alive myself,
A continent and then some from LA --
From California where the people live
with earthquake and mere human scale
Brutality can go unnoticed, almost.
But winds are westerly and fear blows in
Along with crazy ''Wayne's World.'' It creeps
Underground through tangled roots and cable -- bursts
unexpected colors in the damnedest
Places. I don't feel cold when the blue and white
Patrol car passes -- No cop is going
beat me up, no matter what I've had
To drink -- but the battered old brown Chevy
Slowing . . . just outside my driveway
The sound is like a shadow -- whose?
That mower will be along. The rowdy flowers
Have had their day for now and will give way
To level lawn. But what of us? The news
Is: We've grown too thinly tall and separate --
I, exposed and white in this not neutral place
And he, dark out there and choked with inward
Turning rage -- invalidated.