Saturday nights the next door neighbor
would shed his skin and stand astride
the soft shoe rasp four corners will make
pulled in puckers at their straining gathers.
Rocked back on his heels in a wide open stance
bubbled in ease on a solitary
pinpoint of global coordinates
planet curving away on all sides
sipping vodka on the woozy stitching
of an off-speed pitch in the latter
innings of a lopsided late season game.
Garden hose and beaded tumbler in hand
Scott’s Weed and Feed in a Folgers can plunked
down on the dirty bandage of the driveway
you practiced primary lawn care under
a shingle with the simple oath to do no harm.
I still recite the words under my breath
house slippers a whisper on the driveway
tugging at the terry cloth collar
of my rinsed red bathrobe, legs white stalks
against the deep green of the front lawn.