Open Letter from a Dandelion
Why do you judge me so harshly,
you gardeners and weekend lawn warriors
who attack me with sharp-edged tools
and toxic chemicals? When did I acquire
the stigma of “weed”? All I want to do
is brighten your yard, a burst of sunshine
in a sea of boring, uniform green. I bring joy
to your children when I go to seed – they make
a wish and blow on my fuzzy head, scattering
my seeds to the wind, to perpetuate the species.
Some of you even like my saw-toothed leaves
in your salads. So what is my crime?
Who are you to pass this sentence?
Just know that even as you root me out,
my children already grow somewhere else.
I chased the frightened deer into my net,
while Echo longed for me from in the glade.
When she professed her love I laughed, “Forget
this foolish crush – your girlish looks will fade
while mine will burn bright as Apollo’s wheel!”
I broke her heart, she wasted to a shade;
her voice is all that’s left, a plaintive peal.
When Nemesis caught wind of this, she made
me find my own reflection in a pool.
I thought, “My, what perfection!” and I fell
in love with this young man – oh, what a fool –
and frozen there, I’d waste away as well.
Cruel judgment? Well, perhaps, but here’s the thing:
my name is yellow flowers every spring.