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May 31, 2005
That reminds me of some mischief we did when we were kids, Sally said after lunch. Q had just observed with satisfaction that dandelion season appears to be over, and I had said that they hadn't been too bad in our yard this year, thanks to his daily plucking off of the yellow blossoms.

Their neighbors back then were unpleasant people: didn't do Halloween, didn't like kids, way too protective of their excruciatingly manicured garden and way too careful about everything else. Unfriendly.

And so the neighborhood kids waited until the time was just right and gathered all the dandelions from their own lawns, just at the moment when they'd all turned to fluff. And they walked across the grouchy neighbors' lawn with them while the neighbors were not at home, blowing all their gossamer seeds into the air.

And what happened the following year? Q asked.

I don't really remember. I was so pleased to have done it that I don't remember the aftermath at all.

That's a really great mischief, I said, looking at Sally with a new respect. I don't know that I would have shown such singleness of purpose when I was a kid.

Of course, we know what happened the next year: the neighbors' yard was a field of yellow, and after that it was a field of fluff, unless they were like Q and went out there every day to behead the latest crop of yellow blooms. Probably they were like that; they sound like the type.

A host of golden dandelions, I said, and we laughed. I keep meaning to write a funny poem about it, Sally said. Good idea: a Wordsworth send-up. It's not so much that "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" cries out for rough treatment, any more than the neighbors' yard needed to be bombarded with dandelion seeds. It's just that some things are hard to resist.

A Poem -- With Apologies to William Wordsworth

We plotted, lowly kids we were,
Whose neighbors all our fun declined,
To give a gift to him, to her:
A host, of golden dandelions!
Beside the house, amidst the drive
And all across the lawn they'd thrive.

Perennial as the sun that warmed
The prissy lawn, neurotic beds,
They'd stand in never-ending swarms
And nod their cheerful yellow heads.
And every year they'd loose their seed
But we would n'er confess the deed.

The grouches would deadhead, but they
Would not outstrip the healthy weed
We'd lounge upon our porch and pray
That God would smile upon the seeds.
We'd e'en help weed, as sweet as honey,
If they would pay us decent money.

Oh, now that I am long a mom,
And in the garden every day
I think of dandelion bombs
And of the sweetness of the way
That we kids had revenge so fine
Assisted by the dandelion.


Want to re-read the actual poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud?" Visit
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