As we here in Wisconsin are getting weather predictions of the first snowfall of the season over the weekend, I keep thinking back to the summer and the time spent walking and jogging and swimming and looking at the dandelions that grew in my yard, untouched and unharassed, because I like them, and because I liked Mr Bunches to pick them and bring them to me and ask me to blow the white downy seeds away, pursing his own lips and making the blowing sound but never blowing them himself; he reserved that for me.
And because I'm lazy, but laziness in the summer is no vice.
Today's poem was chosen because of those thoughts:
My science teacher said
there are no monographs
on the dandelion.
Unlike the Venus fly-trap
or Calopogon pulchellus,
it is not a plant worthy of scrutiny.
It goes on television
between the poison squirt bottles,
during commercial breakaways from Ricki Lake.
But that's how life
to my home.
where they make you do
what you don't want to do.
Moms with Uzis of reproach,
dads with their silencers.
(My parents watch me closely because I am their jewel.)
So no one knows how strong
a dandelion is inside,
how its parts stick together,
bract, involucre, pappus,
how it clings to its fragile self.
There are 188 florets in a bloom,
which might seem a peculiar number,
but there are 188,000 square feet
in the perfectly proportioned Wal-Mart,
which allows for circulation
without getting lost.
I wish I could grow like a dandelion,
from gold to thin white hair,
and be carried on a breeze
to the next yard.