Dandelion

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Photo credit to Cate Kastriner

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.

 

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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.

Dandelion

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

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The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by Doraine Bennett at her blog Dori Reads. Click on the link to enjoy some poems!

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27 thoughts on “Dandelion

  1. vanessaw2007 says:

    Thanks for sharing the process for your inspiration for this beautiful, beautiful poem. You made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The granter of wishes describing the dandelion takes me back to Radburn park in Jersey where barefoot was the mode of transportation back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dandelions rarely get much love – they’re always being sprayed, plucked or cut, so it’s lovely to see these humble, happy balls of sunshine celebrated for a change!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Appreciations for this sweet photo, lovely memory, but also rallying cry for we, the lovers of the dandy lion.
    It’s a gilded, story-gifting flower. Perhaps the first the most children clutch, as did your son.
    I was going to say little flower, because those are the ones I most often see. But your photos shows a field of great, tall-to-my-eye, beauties. Long may the dandelion seeds flow in the wind.
    I think I will rename all bright yellows in my color box, Dandelion.
    An inspiring post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, that photo melts my heart too, Molly! It reminds me of a similar photo I have stenciled in my memory—my son (at a similar age) offering me a two handed fistful of frangipani blossoms which he collected off the ground and held so gently, like baby chicks. Your beautiful poem says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is wonderful, Molly! I love that spangled meadow, the “pollen-dizzy bees,” and that sweet picture of your son. How do the years fly by so fast?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alice Nine says:

    This is excellent, Molly. And just when I think it can’t get any better, you give me the last lines: “Perhaps we can trace our lost innocence / to the day we first scorned you / as a weed.” I think you are right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thank you, Alice. The last line was one of the first lines that came to me and made me realize how much I wanted to write this poem. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  8. maryleehahn says:

    Oh, so much here to love! Dandelion being “sent out to pasture,” PICKING the dandelion crayon, your loving description of you long-ago son in the picture, and those last two lines — ZING.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such emotion in your description of your son. I miss those uncomplicated days, too, when wonder was taken for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your poem melts my heart. I have a weakness for dandelions and love their bright yellow stars sprinkled across our yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lindabaie says:

    I don’t understand why the retirement, either, Molly. Dandelions are still the beloved flower of children. Your picture is wonderful, and I can see why you wrote from it, a treasure first, now the pairing too. I love “(or was it yesterday?)”. So true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Linda. No one warned me that children graduating from college is harder than children leaving for college! It’s a very nostalgic time for me. I love my adult children, but how I miss those little ones!

      Like

  12. dorireads says:

    Oh my, heart melting in the extreme. And I do love dandelions. Who cares if they are weeds?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Donna Smith says:

    Wonderful weaving! Beautiful poem! I love the picture, too. Together a treasure… all because of a dandelion.

    Like

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