“How I loved those spiky suns, / rooted stubborn as childhood / in the grass,” – Jean Nordhaus, “A Dandelion for My Mother”
The dandelion is lions’ teeth, is a puffy sphere of hope seeds, is the sun’s world in the greeny-green grass, is the pluckable tender leaves of a sweet-bitter salad.
When I was five my mother taught me to make a wish and blow away the tufted cluster at the top of a dandelion stem.
When I was ten my sister taught me to make a dandelion chain by putting flower through split stem, one after the other.
When I was twenty-five my son taught me the wonder of a green bud turned bright yellow flower turned ash-white cloud-seeds.
Now I go through life showing my lions’ teeth, showing my sphere of hope seeds, showing my spray of yellow sun’s light. I am the pluckable tender leaves when I love, I am the wishes of a new generation when I breathe, I am the ghost of a flower gone to seed when I die.
dens leonis (Latin) : dent-de-lion (French) : dandelion (English) : tooth of the lion