The Most American Thing I Own

Eric Paul

I tried raking the leaves.
But the chore left my hands raw and unfamiliar.
It left my lower back shouting like an auctioneer.
My know-it-all neighbor suggested a leaf blower. You must own one,
he said, with a smirk. You blow ‘em into the street.
Let ‘em be someone else’s problem.
Days later, the leaves piled up. I remembered my neighbor’s advice.
I went to the hardware store and purchased a leaf blower.
I started with my yard. But I quickly realized
I could blow anything in and out of my world.
It is the most American thing I own.
With its padded strap and lightweight design,
I carry my leaf blower everywhere. If someone is disrespectful,
I blow the words back into their mouth.
If an anxiety creeps into my skull,
I stick the gardening tool into one ear
and blow the unwanted thoughts out the other.
If I am unhappy with the weather, I stand on my roof
and blow away the
threatening clouds.

Eric Paul is a writer and musician from Providence, Rhode Island. Eric has released two full-length volumes of poetry: I Offered Myself As The Sea and A Popular Place To Explode. Both releases offered by Los Angeles-based Heartworm Press. His work has appeared in such places as: New York Observer, Hypertext, Ninth Letter, The Volta, Lunch Ticket, Booth and The Literary Review.