Outside there is an aging man,
likely in his mid 60s.
Two other women are with him.
They are all in the backyard tending to the lawn.
Perfectly groomed with a rose trellis.
Wild nature imposes itself across manicured borders.
The women pluck and prune the hedge while the man mows the grass.
He has an electric mower, red and black,
with the predictably orange extension cord dangling behind him.
One woman pauses, hands on hips, and surveys the landscape.
The other women rips out handfuls of Japanese knotweed
that has escaped from the neighbors and now threatens
to swallow their yard next,
their advance held back momentarily by the metal fencing.
Memories of my grandparents in their urban environment,
my grandmother worked in the yard and gardens,
while grandpa pushed the electric mower around the yard,
back to front, sidewalk to fence line,
and don’t forget about that little garage walkway!
The big blue spruce in the front yard
liked to poke unsuspecting passerby’s and ne’er-do-well youths
All it took was a momentary glimpse through the window
to spark these childhood thoughts.
Imagine, I thought to myself, if we torn down those four walls
and made a big communal back yard
four backyards thrown together like a wonderful potlach pastiche.
Only the fences impede the green resistance, and then only temporarily.
Like this place, my time in this apartment, everything is temporary.