Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Summer 1994

One summer my cousin John
took up gardening
and had a truckload of cowshit
dumped in the backyard behind our houses
next to his greenhouse

It was a terrible smell at the best of times
but worse when the sun was hot
and the air was thick
and full of blue arse flies
and the smell would lie like a blanket
that covered the entire street

My father's hatred of the heat
only grew when he couldn't open the windows
to let a breeze blow through our house
he told my mother
he had a mind to call the cops
and she laughed
and asked what he would report

Perhaps an olfactory assault charge
could be laid

Us children didn't want to play outside
because the smell would turn our stomaches
My mother and aunts resented not being able
to hang laundry on their clotheslines
because it would only come back in
smelling of sunshine and shit

And as summer wore on
John's flowers and garden grew
green grass
beautiful blooms
full of nutrients
and reaching for the sun

But really

who cares about having a beautiful garden
when the air around it
smells like cowshit?

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