Lion’s Teeth Poem
When others more decorous
are bent on composing, crafting
the trousseau (a thousand hands
preparing petals, another thousand
embroidering spores), I admire the indecent
burst of the dandelion, the straight-up
bloom so soon after snows.
Well before the cocktail hour,
she is freshly dressed, her cheeks
pollen-powdered, her feet squeezed
into the well-broken earth. And when others
are just showing an after-dinner blush
(a tendril just beginning its unpinnings)
she’s waving her fourth-of-July,
baring her lion’s teeth.
True, she flashes her underside white
to the wind sooner than might be
thought proper, but she does enjoy the music.
And true, she might go to seed
before the night is through, but
I admire what becomes of her:
bald bones, milk-sweet spine.
When others hold back their burst
allowing only one white petal
to show from under the shawl, I can’t help
but wish that I too could seduce
that solo from the sun. A dizzy dance
out back. Can’t help but watch her steps,
listen as she calls to him:
first published in Poetry Northwest, vol. XLII, no. 2,