At times, the wheels would get stuck
and she’d tug the mower free
from the section of yard near the pond
that had become more bog

than lawn. She’d plant her feet on the bank,
lower the machine down the slopping
sides nearest the water,
to cut back weeds and unearth

hidden. Green clippings scattering
across the brown surface
below, she feared losing her grip,
she and machine tumbling

as blades whirled,
churning the water as they
paddle-wheeled under and up.
Duck poop slick underfoot

as she pushed on,
she learned very young
how to remain upright
even if unsteady,

resist the slip, pull, surrender,
and find her way safely
out of the muck and back
to firmer ground.

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 18



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