Exacting revenge on itchy garden pest

Published 9:14 am Friday, June 21, 2013

Wanderer moon 

smiling a

faintly ironical smile

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at this

brilliant, dew-moistened

summer morning,—

a detached

sleepily indifferent

smile, a

wanderer’s smile,—

if I should

buy a shirt

your color and

put on a necktie


where would they carry me?

– William Carlos Williams, Summer Song

With all the rain we’ve been getting here in Saluda, my yard becomes a jungle overnight — while I endeavor to appreciate Mother Nature’s help on keeping the fish pond full and the garden plants watered, it sure means extra vigilance on weed-eating and mowing: my least favorite chores in summer heat. Of course, every time the yard’s mowed, rain returns in full force: bringing forth more, more, more grass – more jungle.

Making the rounds with the balky old push mower, I spy a suspicious shiny-green leaves-of-three-let-it-be leering up at me: poison oak. Not my friend, that stuff has been known to leap buildings to find me — just looking at it causes skin to crawl and itch. Still, spotting that wicked head daring, just daring to poke up uninvited in the front lawn, I could not resist the sudden uncontrollable urge to mow it down and vanquish the beast. Yes, I know better.