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Stages of Repair

Two neighbours in court making their small claim
On the news tonight. One has let her lawn go,
Blades of grass like palm tree wannabees,
Weeds growing to their full brilliance
As the only rain forest on the block.
A Siamese cat got lost there and yeowls wilder every night.
Her neighbour stands large, smiling, reasonable
For the camera, an Everywoman who only wants
Well groomed lawns, stable property values,
Every home to look beautifully similar.

Thank goodness the villagers in close-cropped shots
From earlier stories on Rwanda, Mexico, South Africa
(In various states of weeding, trimming, mowing)
Can’t peek out from their videotape frames
To see what’s ahead for them when they learn
To not starve or assassinate,

But to grow lawns the way the news tonight
Grooms us in our contrasting stages of repair.