I don’t have much to say about this one. It’s another from my ill-fated book of poems from 2005 or so. I remember walking across campus one spring and thinking of this poem. The superstition comes straight from Madeline L’Engle.
Originally written circa Spring 2004
“Did you know,” whispers the child,
as she crawls and leans
and cups her tiny hands around my ear.
“Did you know.” Her voice is sweet and filled
with innocence and marvel. Her breath
tickles my ear. “Did you know that if
you blow on a dandelion and it all goes away,
and—I almost forgot. You have to make a
wish and blow and then it will come true.”
She steps away and grasps at one
whose seeds are ripe and tender
and ready to impregnate fertile soil.
“Watch this,” she says, and balloons her cheeks
and releases her gale force.
But she is too quick in expelling
her breath—half the seed remains
when she needs to inhale.
“I can’t do it right,” she says,
her eyes downcast, her face in shadows.
I smile and pluck a dandelion.
“Let me show you how it’s done,” and I
exhale. The stream is slow and strong and smooth.
Three quarters of the seed escape again.
With “Let me try again”s, the child runs off
and practices, while I am left to contemplate
the dreams which I have left
like half-blown dandelions strewn about the fields.