The flower slayer, I trim this way and that
Leafy green and freshly blooming stocks,
In the cover of the shade, where there can be no more
You will be lovely whether you like it or not.
My father with clippers and a soaking hand
Has been trimming the hedges,
Cut himself in the fronds, holds one palm in the other.
You will be lovely even if you bite back.
My father with hedge clippers, braiding my hair,
Rewarding with praises: high marks on spelling, addition,
Trimming this way and that—
Until I am full grown and blooming,
My father the flower slayer, no longer trimming – the hedges
Discipline themselves. Growing into neat little spheres
Until the garden is lovely,
Whether I like it or not.
That is suburbia, gardening, gardening, gardening.