by Maggie Grant

For which there is no possible rhyme other than sawdust. 
Now, the task of justifying that word is going to be immense
If I want to make sense, 
But anyway, here goes:
I once had a doll called Rose 
Whose body was encased in a species of strong white cotton. 
Well, I have not forgotten 
How curious I was to see what was within 
The cotton skin. 
And so I made, with surgical precision, 
A long incision.
Poor Rosie bled and bled and bled. 
She bled not blood, but sawdust, 
And then went limp. 
Well, so do I, in August.
Get the connection? 
Now, for those to whom August means a similar disaffection 
I have news today: 
Relief is on the way 
For, and I say this without fear of starting an angry dialogue, 
September will follow Aug.
It means that those kids who screamed "help, help" at the river all summer will go back to school 
And I can keep my cool, 
Sitting tight 
Instead of leaping up in fright. 
It means the lawn will stop being so assiduous about growing, 
Requiring mowing 
Every second day. 
Hooray!
It means I can give up wondering whether 
To try for a tan, or will the sun merely turn me to leather? 
It means the rabbits can finish off what they've left of my garden for all I'll care. 
Allowing my temper to simmer down from way up there. 
For all of which thank God, 
Although, of course, there'll be the goldenrod; 
Frankly, I think it's pretty 
But visitors from the city 
To such a view object. 
Pointing out how it makes their eyes and noses runny and wet.
"Why don 't you get rid of the stuff?" they ask, 
As though exterminating goldenrod were some sort of easy task. 
Tsk! By the time you've yanked out one you turn around 
To find its sisters, aunts, and cousins springing blithely from the ground. 
What goldenrod knows about family planning you could put in a gnat's eye, 
That's why
Some farms grow wheat or corn or hops 
But goldenrod's my bumper crop, 
A fact allergic friends remember 
And so I can be lonely in September.

 


As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
August

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