When the land around us heaps up higher

Than the loft that holds your Sunday choir,

You know what the gard’ners are sure they require:


It may be black but it may be dyed — 

Bright orange is a version some have tried;

Weedless expanse is the key to pride

In your mulch.

You won’t see robins hanging ’round,

The worms are too far underground.

It’s spread by truckload, not by pound.

It’s mulch.

A mountain ‘neath a tree? You bet.

We’ll suffocate the poor thing yet.

The roots are kept from getting wet

By mulch.

These beds will never feel a hoe,

No need to scratch and help things grow;

What really matters? What will show?

The mulch.

 Mary Carhart

Oak Park

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