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For months it sits unplugged,
collecting spider webs spun and undone,
while dust complicates sunlight

through the shed’s single window
at the broken egg of dawn. Or
nursing the dregs of blackness

that settle in its gut as you haul it
out onto the lawn, plug it in
or fill it, yank at its ripcord –

the sudden hum of blades
and the patch of mown green,
now glowing. It churns

like a stomach hungry for anything:
leaves, daisies, insects, dogshit;
the sheer weight of things

bulked to a cube inside of it.
Afterwards, the lines of the garden
shimmer like wood grain,

pious tree rings unravelled and planed
down to chair legs. Or the glint
of varnish as you empty the basket

into the brown bin:
the painted toy man of a toy set
or model village, still smiling.

poem by Ben Wilkinson
first published in Brittle Star, issue 17, summer 2007


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