Prisoner 53: Lawnmower Man or His Time in the Sun

On Turf Grass and the Maintenance of Yards

There’s a warm black-and-white cat-o-fur flopped out on the bed
A slash of sun-empowered super green sneaks under the window blind
Kate Nash sings, “Too heavy-handed to say the least” from ‘lil laptop speakers
All is peaceful, warm, and the yeas out weigh the nays in a space for lounging
Friday morning is all comfy pillows and blankets until the peace is broken
Now it’s all hot, heavy motor noise; blades whacking and clipping green tuffs
Outside, the turf is rumbling with an industrial grade lawn mowing machine
And standing, like a Roman on his chariot, the operator pounds it out, sweat dripping
Bare ankles jut from under shortened grey trousers of a thick cotton work blend, so sturdy
Tuff and stiff as his uniform posture, riding that mower, putting it through its paces
Leg irons pick up the sun, breaking beams into pulsars, as prisoner 53 cuts even lines
Back and forth over freedom’s green pastures; maybe that’s how he feels about it, but
I, watching from lonely bedroom window on the second floor, feel it’s my prison yard
Only I never get to walk it anymore; growing for no other reason than to be cut down
Suddenly then, he at me and I at him, staring up and down; it’s a remorseful look, sensual even
One only a prisoner can truly understand; vision changed by continually sighting through bars
The lawnmower engine clunks and chucks and vibrates to a lurching halt; end of the line
Prisoner 53 pulls off his sweaty grey shirt, pushing arms and shoulders forward and back again
Sunbeams collide with his closed eyelids as he turns a face of tightened skin to the blue-grey sky
The lamia tattoo romancing his hairless chest expands with color sparkles as her tail flicks
Around his midsection, constricting his waist and pushing long trapped air from his abdomen
Freedom for prisoner 53 is a few seconds between grass cut and the ride back to cell confinement

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