Mary’s Martha

For weeks now
I have watched my neighbor
tend her lawn—

first lugging
full shovels of shade snow
to the road,

then fiercely
raking thatch and tangled
gray snow mold.

With prudence,
she yanked the broad leaves of
damned quack grass

and strapped
on spikes to spade packed earth
loose again.

The moss on
her back bank is powdered
white with lime

and now she
is overseeding grass
near the well.

I nod thinking I might
entice talk,

and I’m sure
I spot her hope spring
when, bending

I pluck out
the aged leaf choking my

I give it
to the wind and watch it

Just beyond,
she twists the head off a