Suburban Saviour

Marcey Gray


Yellow splendor breeds in strength and spreads
From sidewalk cracks to watered lawns and laneways
Then dies of meager judgment -
Believing the beauty deserves to trample
Beneath the foot of a child or the rake of a man.
But I would save them in my mother's vase.

My fingernails caked with pebbles and grit,
Hands bleeding from mistaken thistles, I strove on
Saving each little petal from the torment of children's hands.
The children who would scorn their mothers by breaking their backs
In foolish games and useless chatter.

I would save each one until raging rivers erupted beside me
And the splendor unsaved washed away
With carwash leftovers and wasted sprinkler water.
They would float downstream amidst their dead relatives
In brown and green, torn to shreds by a neighbor's mower -
Just in time to make my sailboat tremble and rock with the waves
And the leaves in the human-made ocean only to whirlpool
Down into an unknown cavern where no man had been nor seen
For this was suburbia.