Peace, Break Thee Off

The Texas live oak sheds in the Spring
In June you’ll hear me raking in the street
The rot underneath the mat already composting
Awakened by a metallic scraping, but now

A crew with weed-eaters, whining like
Perfectionists, lawn mowers taming the wild
A chainsaw loath to start, sputters
Undoing the hackneyed silence

Oh, prattle on about how great
Back in the day, the silence used to be
By the house cat’s vacated sun-trap
In the porches of our once-napping ears



Where’s the best place to establish a field?
Put it out back there’s a gate on the side.
It sticks so you might have to give it a shove,
keep the ground at your feet and the sky well above.

There once was a field full of pebbles and stones
where the weeds and a couple of trees set up shop.
If they noticed the setback they didn’t complain,
come Spring they just pop out in green once again.

The field that they cleared for the new shopping mall
was home to some critters and insects and birds.
Now on the side by the edge of the lot,
the weeds stand by waiting, devising a plot.

The grackles pick bugs off a Chevy’s front bumper
and a rabbit sits still in the handicapped spot.
The landscaping sprinklers are fine with the birds,
and moths like the glow of those neon light words.

The shoppers stopped coming and the stores they all shut,
they saw a coyote walk through there last week.
Asphalt is splitting, the landscaping’s brown,
and weeds fill the cracks, there’s no keeping them down.

Show me the edge where the nature begins
or it ends, where a man made a claim for his roots.
Now a town with a name, trees lining the road,
and the natural order will carry the load.