The Backyardigans


My MIL’s photo sensitivity sometimes dusts up against my pathological need to document everything via shitty iPhone pictures.

For my mother-in-law’s most recent birthday (circa November 2016), I wrote a poem about sitting in my in-laws’ backyard, which is printed on the latter painting (oh, my wife is Bob Ross), which is also (wait for it) a painting of said backyard. (The paintings have since been framed and hung on an all-too-visible wall.)


Canopy of trees
A frame
For everchanging skyward spectacle.
At night,
Stars make puncture marks in the
Pressed black blanket
While the moon’s crescent smile eggs them on.

Stage for a floor show,
Falling space trash
More subtle and beautiful
Than expected.

In daylight, blue calms and inspires
Endless possibilities and delights.
The trees bend together
But never touch
Fringed with leaves
Playful and protective.

Tall, swaying babysitters
Coax housebound creatures
To stay within their confines
Yet still free to run and romp.

Walk through the doorway
Of vines and woodsy leafery.
Things are crisper here,
Stark and still,
A concave refuge
Framed by foliage
Backyard bliss.


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