Playing God
by David Charles Anderson

I pulled out the old lawnmower for the first
time this spring
and played God--
the dandelions' heads shattering
across the lawn.
They're a pain in the ass,
cluttering up what could be
a beautiful lawn.

I mowed them down and moved on
to the onion grass that lines
the driveway,
forcing that rumbling machine
to kill or be killed,
and to do it my way.

At the very edge of the lawn grow some
piquant yellow wildflowers
along the wall, stretching and arching
and yawning. I let them be
Stopped there. Let them exist
because of their beauty, and
I know they'll be dead in a day.

Two soft hands exited with blisters
Unlike my father--he's a mechanic
and could mow five acres painless
with a push mower.
He's been playing God longer than I--

The momentary master of the pasture
and king of wild,
I played God,
snipping here and
snapping there
until all desire was manifest
in this small plot of land.

And not a single blade of grass,
or dandelion complained,
though I doubt they understand.

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