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Wednesday, November 03, 2021


by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

A gardener who trimmed a 10ft hedge into a hand flipping the middle finger has been warned he faces police action if he doesn’t chop it down. —The Independent (UK), October 19, 2021

Throughout the lore of English countryside,
Home topiary's an art that has been prized—
Except by one whose eyes were mortified
By what a green-thumbed gardener devised
In Warwickshire: a middle-finger shrub
Raised 10 feet high to flip the bird, in jest,
Directly opposite a village pub
In Warton. For two decades, it impressed.
Now someone wants to kill the goose that laid
A golden egg—more tourists at the inn—
By chopping down the shrub. So calls were made
Upon the gardener. But he won't bin
Street art he's groomed for decades as a joke—
His bush still flips the bird at prudish folk!

Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus at Florida State University. His acrostic sonnets have appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, the Creativity Webzine, Current Conservation, the Daily Mail, the Ekphrastic Review, Grand Little Things, Light, Lighten Up Online, The New Verse News, Oddball Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, The Satirist, The Washington Post, and WestWard Quarterly.