Author’s Note: “This poem came to me when I was traveled to a conference in Asheville, North Carolina. I grew up in Tennessee, and when I took a walk in those southeastern woods, I was flooded with sensory memories of when my mother was alive in my childhood. The dandelion was a particular memory, and it heightened my perspective of what is a weed and what is something to be treasured.”
Defiance of Dandelions
I see the blue haze they speak of
in mountains of North Carolina,
laced like a veil on tops of trees.
It wraps around me,
a melancholy of my youth
when my mother was alive.
She used to clang our iron porch bell
calling us home for dinner
from deep in the Tennessee woods.
I’m steeped in these familiar smells
of damp leaves, red clay dirt, a woodpecker
hammering on a faraway tree.
I used to pick these dandelions
from my backyard,
make a wish with my breath
as their cotton mist scattered to earth.
My mother cursed those stubborn weeds.
Today, I bow with gratitude
that they rise each spring
in defiance of our attempted control,
wild in their consistency
to shroud us in memories.
Jennie Linthorst is certified in poetry therapy from the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy. Her two books of poems, Silver Girl (2013) and Autism Disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope (2011), were published by Cardinal House. Her work has appeared in Foliate Oak, Forge, Kaleidoscope, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write, Sanskrit, and The Art of Autism. Website: www.lifespeakspoetrytherapy.com.
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