Thursday, June 30, 2022

Mowing the Lawn

—Poetry by Matthew McGuirk, Langdon, NH
—Public Domain Photos


I wonder about
the sort of movie scenes that slip through,
just missing the cut or ones too rough for stardom.
I imagine a sort of
scrap yard for clips:
stars that ended up with minor roles
and settings left to memories.
I wonder if
we take these missing scenes and throw them together
a Frankenstein or jumbled Picasso
of the film world,
a collage of the not-quite,
the misunderstood,
the misplaced
or the almost forgotten
if we’d have an award winner
buried in those snipped scenes and unwatched reels. 


They say the first time you wash blue jeans
you should wash them by themselves,
but like everything else in life
sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
Just like you’re supposed to slowly work that dream girl in
with the family and friends,
but really everyone wants to meet her all at once
because you’ve already talked about
how she’s got you hooked on Dunkin’ Donuts
and how she’s an animal whisperer
and loves fluffy things.
Like a pair of new jeans in with all the other laundry,
there’s already so much of her in you. 


The man mowed the lawn
before she arrived.
He knew a well-manicured lawn
showed attention to detail
and he wanted to impress
with his finely clipped blades of grass.

The man mowed the lawn
before the wedding,
wanting the yard to look its best
when she walked down the aisle
and everyone snapped photos of
their memorable day.

The man mowed the lawn
because it was the routine.
Just like he raked the leaves in the fall
and shoveled the snow in the winter.
The perception of the lawn
was what the neighbors thought of them
and that was important to her.
The man mowed the lawn
because it was something to do,
a place to go when things
were too much.
The lawn continued to grow
even when other things in his life
had withered away and died.


Today's LittleNip:
Stone, steel, dominions pass,
Faith too, no wonder;
So leave alone the grass
That I am under.
A.E. Housman, 
More Poems

Matt McGuirk teaches and lives with his wife and two daughters in New Hampshire. Over the last year, he’s been nominated for BOTN [Best of the ‘Net], been a regular contributor for Fevers of the Mind, had stories and poems in 50+ lit mags with 100+ published pieces, and a debut collection with Alien Buddha Press called Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities, available on Amazon. Find his work on his website: and connect with him on Twitter: @McguirkMatthew and Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew. Welcome to the Kitchen, Matt, and don’t be a stranger.

Straight Out Scribes are reading tonight at Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar—click UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS at the top of this column for details about this and other future readings in the NorCal area.


 Matthew McGuirk

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