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Eye of the Beholder
Preened green lawns, in ruler straight rows
Distant cacophony of far off crows
Buttermilk rays of sun light up the yard
Oak trees stand stoic, constantly on guard.
My home is amid the eerily neat lines
An oasis of noise and clutter without confines
I am suspended, between what is below and above
Tiny to my parent’s eyes peering down with love
To the flowers, I appear a tower too tall to climb
I am all the things I will be with the passing of time.
To them, I look powerful, grown up, and knowing.
I stand as the biggest flower, but even I am still growing.
I will evolve in the yard, the flower on the ground
Unlike the dandelion, my place is safe and sound
The yard is my stage, I am a player
But Shakespeare has lost his touch, claim the naysayers.
Shakespeare plays the gardener, and he is defied.
With each unwieldy branch stretching out wide
The neighbors follow his precise rules,
As if he wrote the Bible and we are his tools.
I look up at the lawn, young enough to see,
no other yard looks as unruly and free.
They are all buttoned up, nature shoved out.
The grass is green, belying the drought.
The flowers are gone, the bushes are clipped,
Their leaves and imagination swiftly snipped.
Restricted and defined by carefully laid plans
Distorting the love of Mother’s Nature’s hands.
I’m too young to know why the flowers grow,
But I see them, and want to know:
Why is our yard the only one
To let these buds have their chance in the sun?
In the eyes of Mother Nature, we measure the same height
Why should I pick the flowers, why do I have that right?
Like the flowers I am fragile, dependent, not tough at all
It’s easy to forget that I could so simply fall
I could tumble onto the pavement, or into the grass
To find myself the flower’s size, eye to eye at last
Then, there we would be the dandelion and me,
To realize we are the same: we want to be free.
We have our roles in the world, steady and firm
A dandelion should be cut, a child must learn.
They say a lawn looks best when it is bare,
But why can’t a dandelion sway in the air?
For now, the dandelion colony wisps in the wind
Amongst the grass that has yet to be thinned.
The delicate petals are intricately wound
Attached to their stem, rooted to the ground.
In the center each petal lifts itself to the sky,
On the edges they bend back, trying to fly.
Each reflects the light, a beacon of gold
Radiating about the most central fold.
The stem firmly holds Mother Nature to her kin,
Connecting each flower to the power within.
The earth below supports it, ever steady.
The sky above dares it to be constantly ready—
Ready for my eyes, peering down from above,
Examining the simple flower with curiosity and love.
The flower below me is innocent, pure.
How can its killing hold such allure?
Awaiting the enemy, the lawn mower, the blade
Waiting for what will oppress, kill and invade
It takes the nutrients, the water, they bemoan.
They’d like to curse those who had the seed sown.
But the dandelion seed was not planted
Its journey across the plains was granted
By the constant blowing of the breeze
A power nobody can dare try to freeze.
I turn my head into the illuminating sun
Feeling its rays as my questions come undone
Mommy, why is our lawn the only one
With the pretty yellow flowers?
We are just one more piece of the earth
We can’t judge nature’s worth
A perfect harmony can’t be heard
When the cries of nature are slurred.
Screams of the threads of life breaking
Are lost over the lawn mover’s shaking
Symbiosis is drowned out next door,
But here, mutualism gives us something to stand for.
I see wishes instead of weeds
I see flowers and their hopeful seeds
They only see the buds, ready to be cut
But why must the flower’s petals be shut?
I speak for the flowers, because they have no tongues.