NOTICE:  WEED AND GRASS REMOVAL:  All properties within the City of Wilmington must be maintained in accordance with Chapter 1729 of the City of Wilmington Codified Ordinances which prohibits grass and weed growth in excess of ten inches (10”) in height.  Notice is hereby given that weeds, grass or plant growth is in excess of ten inches (10”) in height and must be cut within five (5) days.  If the property owner fails to comply with this order, the City shall cause the weeds or grass to be cut at the owner’s expense, and the City will place a lien on the property for the amount in accordance with O.R.C. 731.54.  Removal of this placard before the property owner complies with Chapter 1729 shall constitute a violation of this section and subject the owner(s), lessee(s), tenant or occupant having charge or lots of land to a fine of $100 . . .


Foxgloves, poppies, shasta wild daisies,

Perennial purple cone flowers . . .

I planted the seeds, transplanted pellets

To cover bald patches on my front lawn

Allotting a section of turf for taller grasses and flowers


Like that old lady in Terre Haute, Indiana

Who lived by the railroad tracks

Whose house I’d pass going to Big Lots

Within whose sparse grass

Wildflowers popped up like pun

In defiance of the asphalt

And rattling doom of passing trains

I sprinkled boxes of perennial wildflower seeds

Like Hansel and Gretel dropping bread crumbs

Though loons, cardinals, and crows devoured them


Yet in some places something grew

Stranger than science fiction

Dark Martian green to failed magic yellow


Other herbage succumbed to summer heat

Pink clover dried to teddy bear brown

The hum of bees ceasing above the scraggly


That’s when I found the yellow paper sign:


Tacked on a wooden pole, driven into my pebbly soil

Like a stake through a vampire’s heart


I peer out the window at my neighbors

One wheeling home in his red Taurus

Another splashing her son in a blue kiddie pool

And wonder who turned me in

Forced me into the convict’s striped uniform

As Violator of City Ordinances

I who waited so patiently, so meekly

For my garden to grow . . .


Now I’ve mowed that 10 X 30 rectangle of lawn

Bent over and taken it under the sun

Destroyed the natural music of silence

With belligerent machinery

Terrifying earthworms . . .

And all I see are bald spots now