Dandelion

Dandelion

            How many millions of dollars, how many hours of labor, how much herbicide, how many tools, are dedicated to your destruction?  My neighbors lament your presence, curse your name, struggle to dig you as deep as that taproot, pray that your seeds, lighter seeming than air, do not scatter, parachuting into their clean, manicured lawns.  Like the Medievals, who called you “Devil’s milk-pail” for the white latex carried in your stem, how suburbanites excoriate you.
            Dandelions, I have no lawn.  Mine is a yard.  I welcome you, from tip of taproot to delicious leaf to milky stem to bright yellow flower to that fuzzy head that I used to blow into the wind as a child.  I have picked your rosette of greens, rich in copper and iron, to supplement my salads.  I have gathered your flowers and stripped them of all traces of green and set them to boil and added sugar and yeast and let you ferment into a wine that is both earth and sun.
            Once, they called you “Piss-a-Bed,” your yellow flower announcing to herbalists your ability to open the urinary tracts of young and old.  The Mesopotamians ate you along with dock and watercress.  The French favored you in the la ceuillette, their seasonal gathering up of the wild.  The English brought you alongside their cattle, entrenching you in New England by 1663.  They took you as far south as Tasmania, where you so eagerly found a home alongside thistle and dock that one British painter, in 1881, called the Tasmanian countryside “far too English.”
            I will call my yard Mesopotamia, France, England or Tasmania.  Like those places, I will give you a home.  And you?  You will give me beauty, nutrients, and wine—your cursed immortality.

"Dandelion" first appeared in Flint Hills Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compost heap

Asparagus stalk

Cross hatch garden

Datura blossom

Thistle flower

Garden shears

Dandelion seed head

Cracked earth

Corn

Artichoke

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