A Little Death

For cutting and weeding there’s nothing I like more
than my small sickle, its 3-inch serrated blade
easy to maneuver speedily with practiced skilled wrist-action,
as I move through the yard sliding on my butt apace.

The only problem is that while I’m scooting around, moving in and along
through taller grass and shrubs, when I put the sickle down to bag
whatever I’ve just cut, I sometimes misplace it.

Now you may ask how’s it possible to lose a tool this way,
and I would say that while I definitely agree with you,
it is rather small, the 3-inch blade with a 4-inch handle,
and the blade is brown metal, the handle brown wood.

Death would never have this problem with his scythe
because the size of his tool is massive by comparison.
So when I lay down my proportionally tiny tool,
what I’m doing seems almost like unthinkingly hiding it
among grass blades, or leaves, or on top of patches of dirt.

It’s as if my little sickle were a chameleon changing color to match its environment,
or better yet, a camouflaged ninja lurking in wait to attack me.

And attack me it does from time to time over the years –
something you will never hear Death say –
more often lately as the little cuts from accidentally
running my hand or legs or butt over the blade
while I move along grow slightly less than legion.
Legion lesions – what a poetic way of putting it.

Still it’s a wonderful all-purpose tool that I would never give up,
perhaps one of three or four of my most utilized yard work aids.
But every day I employ it, I’m constantly misplacing it momentarily
until I do see it, or as the turn of phrase goes, it jumps up and bites me.
I should probably wrap some red or orange tape around the handle,
or perhaps spray-paint it a bright neon color,
but then I think, Nah, why take the excellent exercise out of finding it?

At my age, when the number of things that bring me pleasure grow fewer,
constantly losing my little sickle and then finding it again before it maims me,
or worse, kills me, gives me joy as a useful mental exercise
helping me stave off death by keeping my little gray cells in peak condition,
assuring I’ll have many years of honed brain-acuity ahead of me,
although a healthy sized Band-aid bill as well.

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