! The Toad Not Raken - Poem by Michael Shepherd
Now that the frost has gone its rimy way
there’s the matter of that long grass
that meets the undergrowth
at the end of the garden;
time to take steps to tidy it.
two rakes awaited my decision:
there’s the metal one, which makes hard work
but scarifies the moss and aerates the top soil as well –
and the wooden one, slightly Japanese looking,
its tines further apart, and easier on the arms,
which combs the long grass rather than removes it,
setting it up for the strimmer when the grass dries off.
But I remembered how last year’s early raking
disturbed a sleepy toad and, to my shame, partially dismembered it.
These little choices make our road and name us.
I took the gentler wooden rake, and dragged it careful-slow;
the reward, a scuttling movement in the grass ahead.
Two rakes were there for me to make my choice;
I’m glad I took the one less often used, the gentler one.
Though looking at the grass, it's hardly made any difference.
(For all respectful but mischievous poetry fans)
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