Considering Harper Lee during Sunday Mowing

by John Davis Jr.

Aunt Alexandra composed herself for a two-hour nap and dared us
to make any noise in the yard, the neighborhood was resting.
– To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 15

Would you judge me? Begrudge me this one small chore?
I too grew up in a South where Sunday meant fake peace
and quiet. Only heathens would crank their Snappers,
but today, the nettles reach too high out front. The ox is in the ditch.

Doubtless Aunt Alexandra would have scowled
at the growl of this sin-red machine, reaping its path
toward Gomorrah. I’m sorry, Maycomb, but the unpleasant
has to be done. Walk around in my skin, its circular whorls.

I apologize my way back to the tool shed,
a clean plain of green behind me. Purity-making
can’t be wrong, even on this Sabbath. My small
paradise fills with crows and Mockingbirds.


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