Backyard Wilderness

This month’s challenge at Today’s Little Ditty is to write letters to ourselves that we don’t necessarily have to answer. I was going to skip the challenge, as I have not been having very productive conversations with myself! But I just read the poems posted for the challenge, and figured I could come up with something. And so I have–it’s more of a rough draft than I would usually share, but I am trying to get back to posting more often, so will start with this.

Not that many years ago, the land where we live was an oak savanna. When we moved into our house the towering oak trees still grew, but the savanna had been turned into a lawn. Not exactly a lush lawn, but lawn nonetheless. For many years my husband mowed front and back, then front and occasionally back, and has finally skipped the back altogether except for a path down to the lake. I’ve planted a few prairie plants and scattered some seeds, but mostly we’re letting nature take its course. Right now we’ve got goldenrod and asters blooming where the grass once grew. Our new “wilderness” inspired this (and I’ll bet you can guess the answers to the questions!)

Backyard Wilderness

If the lawn mower stays silent on Sunday mornings,
the green carpet untamed,
the grass inching ever taller,

will the frothy foam of spittlebugs
appear in June?
Will rabbits stand on hind legs
and reach for dandelion seeds?
Will goldenrod and asters
bloom among autumn grasses?

Will we miss the roaring engine,
the stubble of fresh-cut lawn,
the symbol of suburbia?
©–Buffy Silverman

Looking for more poetry? Visit Jone for links to all of today’s Poetry Friday posts. 


17 thoughts on “Backyard Wilderness

  1. Buffy, while we pride ourselves in our village for well-manicured lawns and no lawn movers roaring on weekends, a freely created backyard wilderness has its charms. I enjoyed your question poem.

  2. I’m so glad you decided to share your poem even though your recent conversations with yourself haven’t been productive (that made me laugh!–I can relate!). I just finished mowing the lawn today and hope it will be for the last time. I love the idea of less mowing but am deterred by the tick issues here. I’m entranced with your image of those rabbits reaching for dandelion seeds.

  3. I love it! Yes, to more wild places. In our county we have had a group support the planting of pollinator gardens filled with local, native plants that encourage pollinators of all kinds–monarchs and other butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Slowly, one garden at a time, they are making a difference.

  4. Yes to more wild areas all over, and reducing the din of lawnmowers. I’ve pretty much given up trying to tame the clover etc that takes over our backyard—and all the rabbits love that. Thanks for your poem and lovely asters Buffy.

  5. My dad said his lawnmowing felt more like mud wrestling this week! Less mowing, more fun. (I am picturing some very wee rabbits, reaching up to the dandelions!)

  6. Since we have very wild back, side and front yards, I really appreciated your poem. Though we have the semblance of a front lawn, for the most part we like the natural look. 🙂 Less mowing, the better . . . my fave part of your poem was picturing the rabbits standing on their hind legs and those lovely wildflowers blooming.

  7. I have lots of green space in my neighborhood, and only a tiny bit of lawn midst the flowers, but one area around a park grows wild, so I love hearing about your ‘backyard’, perhaps now ‘back meadow’? I’m glad you wrote, Buffy, now I’m imagining all sorts of little animals coming in.

  8. I don’t think you’ll miss it. I’d love to have a wild lawn but here in South Louisiana, it would quickly become unmanageable.
    I love how this poem just sits back in its hammocks and wonders aloud.

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