This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Dandelion" by Perre Shelton

By Perre Shelton

she was never the beautiful, long-haired mother i wrote about in poems
she never walked barefoot through forests green blades of grass,
sheared a perfect two inches,
one blade at a time carpeting the front lawn of her pink and white bungalow.
she just wasn’t that lucky.

sunflowers and rose bushes never draped across white picket fences
her garden merely yielded curtailed dandelions polka dotted across patches of brown.

she learned to value their beauty because they had such pretty names, "dandelions."
however, she, my mother, still dreamt of sunny spring Saturdays
drenching her dreams with lemonade stands and sprinklers,
heart-shaped bushes and glass Coke bottles, liberty and justice for all.
but somehow, somehow she knew better than to dream too unsilently.

as a child she would fill my days with baloney sandwiches and flavored tap water.
then, i never understood how hard she tried to keep me happy,
and even up until today,
i have yet to discover how often she dreams.
but somehow, somehow i know its always about me and the husband she never had.
she was never that medallion-shaped, apron-cloaked mistress moving proud across the wooden floor she dreamt of
wearing almost perfectly white socks,
stretched disproportionate at the ankles from carrying life as pure as those damn white walls

she just wasn't that lucky,

but today wont let her forget.
wont let her sink into an oblivion of white walls and pined floors.
an oblivion of finely tuned but extremely rhythmless music.
mother, those dandelions are singing to you.

loud, boastful, brilliant.
mother, those dandelions are beautiful.
like you, but like you even they forget.
sorry they couldnt grow up amongst roses.
sorry they sprang from the cracks,
etched in povert America.
they grew up among society’s weeds.
the neighborhood hates those dandelions,
the neighborhood wants to kill those dandelions,
but my mother always grows back.
to soak sun and hold it in her cheeks.
thin colored all-brights, brilliant yellow
and that yellow faced dandelion will never die
but she will always dream of something more than those weeds.
until the day she realizes that a flower as beautiful as her
does not belong in a rose bush.

© Perre Shelton


Stacey said...

I absolutely love Perre Shelton... just a genuinely amazing slam artist.

Fahmida UK said...

I cannot get over how amazing this poem is. It really made me think of my mother and how much she is a 'dandelion'. Thank you Perre!