In the open green part of the park
a solo garlic mustard stood tall.
I considered it, its cheerful leaves,
imagining a crop-worthy crowd
of them, enough for pesto pasta.
I considered my neighbor’s passion
for eradicating invasive
species of all kinds, sighed, & turned back.
Plucked up by the roots, I was surprised
how clean they were — white, thick, sturdy, strong,
not a crumb of dirt that stuck or fell.
Most years there is one warm day the yard
shifts overnight from the cool of grass
to a fierce carpet of tiny suns,
dandelions bursting open like a band
marching, all gleaming cacophony.
Not this year. Those first warm days other
flowers bloomed, but not those I watched for.
A couple days later I found two:
scraggly, squashed, far apart.
The next day five. Today a dozen
scattered haphazard across the green.
Dandelions and spring have been together most of my life
This year I really missed the carpet of glory that usually comes the first day they bloom. Poignant.