Impatiently polite, imperious,
Our neighbors only just tolerated
The peculiar clan at cul-de-sacs end.
We were insufficiently industrious
With lawn care, and our plot was at last rated
An eyesore. How, they wondered, could we spend
So much time sleeping, so little weeding:
Crabgrass spiked brown, dandelions spackled gold.
Of an old German barbarian born,
A sour, thin kid, moping, slouching, reading,
Id gather bruised windfall apples and throw
Them over the hedgea broadside launched with scorn
From our blue-shingled brigantine, square prow
Lodged in high grass, underneath long boughs.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 Number 2, on page 29
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