Tall Grass

Without my dad around,
the grass grew up
around the house.

I don’t think
that it was ever green.
It was brown
and dry,
but it just grew
and grew.

Maybe you
wouldn’t call it grass.
Every stem
was split at the end
and covered in tiny,
little seeds.
And it was all brown,
so maybe you
would call it weeds.

And it grew
and grew
all around our house,
until it was as high
as I was tall.

My mother said
that the neighbors
were angry
about it.

In the tall grass,
that you might call weeds,
there were bugs
that would cling to your skin,
and there were little animals
of some kind, but
I don’t think that is why
the neighbors
were angry
with us.

They just didn’t like the way it looked,
my mother said.

But we didn’t have
a red, growling
lawnmower anymore.
My father
had taken the one we had
when my mother sent him away.

So my sister and I
went out into the yard
with scissors,
and spent weeks
cutting what we could.