The last mowing another quiet ritual.
It is not obligatory, but it is good,
and pleasant too, because it re-enacts August,
the time when mowing is as contagious as yawning,
when you start the engine and begin,
and when you stop for the first time
you hear the entire motor choir from the near
distance, from all the four corners of the world.
All of us conquering grass, mimicking cows,
mimicking some neighbours in the suburbs of Chicago.
But the last mowing is more beautiful and manly:
you are alone in it, it’s often dusk and there is fog.
You do something unpleasant and painful to the grass
for its own good, like a doctor or a father.
You take care of the machine, you clean it before it turns in,
you pour out the gasoline, dealing with – as you never do,
being a philologist, a scribe and a gay – oil and steel. At last
you lock the door, breathing out an “everything’s ready”;
now winter may come, now long nights without growth
spent far away from the earth,
that’s why you sigh.
Translated by the author