an economy of ridiculous regeneration
By Vachel Lindsay
O dandelion, rich and haughty,
King of village flowers!
Each day is coronation time
You have no humble hours.
I like to see you bring a troop
To beat the blue-grass spears,
To scorn the lawn mower that would be
Like fate’s triumphant shears.
Your yellow heads are cut away
It seems your reign is o’er.
By noon you raise a sea of stars
More golden than before.
* * *
I post this poem for my three year-old, who is dandelion-oriented. I have resigned myself to her preoccupation with dandelions. I know that any going out of doors with her will involve at least some portion of time spent dandelion hunting, and things go more smoothly if I just give her the leeway to do this. It used to feel tedious, but more recently, I’ve come to appreciate dandelions and their ridiculous ability to regenerate. Perhaps God put them here for children, who also seem to operate according to a different economy– an economy of hyper-regeneration. Dandelions: I give you my daughter. My daughter: I give you the dandelions. I’ll just stand here and lean on the stroller and zone out behind my sunglasses, if that’s o.k.
Or maybe I am writing nonsense today because I have been thrown into the crucible of single parenting for the last five days. And both of my girls have colds that will not seem to go away. And it has been raining a lot. And I have been reading really intense self-help books that are making me see a lot of terrible things about myself. And every time I look at the NPR website, there is either something about the oil in the Gulf, or how a new study has shown that caffeine is bad for you, and sleep is really good for you. Um, besides duh, I’d like to write a letter that says: Dear scientists, please stop torturing yourselves and humanity with these studies.
Anyway, this is about all I can muster today. Thanks for listening.