“The Lawn’s Lament”
by Horace P. Sternwall
illustrations by danny delacroix and rhoda penmarq
edited by Dan Leo*
*Associate Professor of Romance Literature, Assistant Life Coach, Olney Community College; editor of Mrs. Biddle’s Bequest and Four Other Novels of Intrigue by Horace P. Sternwall, with an Afterword by Oscar Levant; Olney Community College Press. Made possible in part by a generous grant from Bob’s Bowery Bar on the corner of Bleecker and the Bowery: “Serving fine beers and cocktails from 7am to 4am daily. Featuring Bob’s Bowery Bar’s World Famous Nickel Hot Dogs, with Mom’s Sauerkraut. ‘I’ve lived off Bob’s nickel hot dogs for years now.' – Howard Paul Studebaker, poet, author of Aubades of the Old West and Cowboy Villanelles.”
“Ha, ha, well said, my dear Sniffy,” said Frank X, and without further ado he unfolded the cocktail napkin and held it close to his bloodshot and puffy eyes (for he was very nearsighted; he had drunkenly broken his last pair of eyeglasses five years ago and had neglected ever since to buy a new pair), and recited, in a singsong, high and pompous voice the following poem:
Please don’t mow me, said the lawn.
I have feelings, too, you know.
But no one cares about me, they just
walk on me,
and let their dogs poop on me,
what do they care for my feelings,
my hopes and aspirations,
because, yes, lawns have feelings too,
and hopes and dreams,
but no one cares,
and when I grow too high
that fat human being
gets out his mower and brutally mows me down,
the bastard. Please don’t do that.
Don’t mow us.
Let us grow, free,
waving our little grass fingers
gently in the air
until winter comes
and we die.
But with luck we will be reborn next spring.
And that human being,
that fat sweating slob
who so liked to brutally mow me,
perhaps he will be dead by then,
of a massive heart attack.
I can only hope.
(Click here to read the entire sordid episode.)