To Claire (As Daring as Dandelions)

You insist on being noticed wherever you appear

Optimistic yellow in a sea of green

 

I had a teacher who told me

They were only weeds if you didn’t want them.

That even dandelions could belong in a bouquet

If you invited them.

 

You seek them out, stopping to collect them from hillsides and curbs,

Wherever they thrive away from the attentions of more fastidious gardeners.

I receive them by the handful

With a practiced false enthusiasm you can already see right through.

 

Is it to my shame that I’ve tried to mow you down?

Be quiet. Sit still. Don’t argue.

 

So here is an invitation

for the girl who doesn’t need one:

 

Go ahead and bloom.

Let them mutter. Even me.

And when you decide it is time to move on, don’t

Bend over in defeat the way the peonies do

Or shrivel on the stem

Or drop your petals one by one.

No, at night, when no one is looking,

Transform yourself into something lighter than air,

And then wait for it…

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