She catches my eye
Poised quietly among the irises,
A tall and spindly star of seeds.
Wild among the cultivars,
She’s a quivering silver sphere
Among the docile lavender blooms.
I bend down and pluck her,
Gentle, careful not to shake her
Lest her seeds come loose
And cascade onto the lawn.
But something in this feels wrong.
I look at dandelion,
And she looks at me,
And I consider my choice.
When I was a child I would have
Blown this little flower to smithereens
—in a good way—
Without even thinking twice.
Rushing to sweep her off her feet
I’d wave her wildly in the wind,
Smiling eyes to the sky
Watching her seeds take flight
On the breath of the day
Off to far-flung reaches and unknown seedbeds
Where she could take root and grow.
But now, all grown up, I hesitate.
“But, this is a dandelion!” I think to myself.
“If I blow it, the seeds will spread all over the place, and next year
the whole yard will be full of hundreds of little yellow flowers!”
She hears my thoughts and whispers back,
“Isn’t that the point?”
The breeze tickling her seeds,
Wondering what I’ll do.
Who taught me to think this way?
I didn’t come with these instructions.
Where did I learn
That a perfect plot of manicured grass
Is more worthy of protection
Than the lavish, wild diversity
Of nature’s aliveness?
What is more important…
A lush and radiant lawn,
Or a lush and radiant life?
I breathe in, and blow.
Dandelion opens her wings
And farewells herself upon my breath,
Tumbling into her destiny.
Inside me, a little girl smiles.
She’s the one who once ran ahead
To spread the seeds.
No one had to teach her
That lips are made for blowing,
And dandelion seeds
Are made to fly on the wind.
And the funny thing
About all this is,
I don’t even care about lawns.