It all started when I heard on NPR that Crayola was retiring Dandelion as one of its crayon colors. Retiring a color struck me as an odd concept, but retiring Dandelion? Cheerful, plucky Dandelion, harbinger of spring, granter of wishes, sent out to pasture? It just didn’t seem right. Then, I read that Amy Ludwig VanDerwater was using crayon colors as inspiration for her poetry writing in April (here). What a great idea! So, I randomly pulled a crayon from my own crayon box, thinking it might inspire me in some way– And yes, you guessed it, I pulled Dandelion.
All of this got me thinking about dandelions which led me to pull out this treasured picture of my son. It melts my heart every time I look at it. Those sweet cheeks, the why-didn’t-his-mother-ever-cut-his-hair hair, the baby neck creases… and his one little hand carefully clasping a dandelion while the other hand rests open, filled with sunlight. All framed by a field full of brilliant yellow dandelions. Melts. My. Heart.
Thinking of him, the little him I miss so, and of my own memories of long ago dandelion-wishing days, mixed with thoughts about retiring, aging, and change to inspire this poem.
Your exuberant hue spangles the meadow
evokes the sweet, pressing heat
of lazy, fragrant afternoons
and the buzzing of pollen-dizzy bees
bobbing from blossom to blossom
in their mysterious, intricate dance
Your name conjures
the phantom touch of a small hand
long ago (or was it yesterday?)
presenting a wilting cluster
of starburst blossoms
with bent and broken milky stalks
love in a bouquet
Your toothy flowers burst with memories
of spring promises, childhood joy,
and gossamer wishes
cast on summer breezes
Perhaps we can trace our lost innocence
to the day we first scorned you
as a weed
Molly Hogan (c) 2017
The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by Doraine Bennett at her blog Dori Reads. Click on the link to enjoy some poems!