Not Daffodils but Dandelions

Walking past the daffodils on this crisp morning
I fell out of love.

Before this moment
I would have said that
I loved the way these flowers lit up
the bleak, grey, winter sky.
Also I adored that they were the kindling
that signaled for spring to roar into life.
I loved their wide open faces-
like bits of fractured sunshine
fallen from a sky that was finally feeling forgiving.

But this morning,
it was the way that they held their own heads in their dirt laps –
somehow defeated by the slight chill –
that made me not just fall out of love
but actually dislike this flower.

I suddenly realized
that these flowers were planted
and orchestrated
to make me think
that the winter was coming to an end.
They were every signal of false hope
that I had ever mistaken for truth.

It was later that I walked past a field of dandelions
blazing in an unattended field.
Now this is the flower that should have had my heart.
This flower does not wait to be planted
and refuses to be contained.
It does not lie about the season
and it does not bring false hope.
This is the flower that children are allowed to pick.
This is the flower that,
when my son hands one to me,
I do not feel guilt about where it came from.
This is the flower that
no matter how cold the day is,
it turns its face-
not to greet me,
but to defy the grey sky.
To let that sky know
that it is not borrowing anything
from the sun.
This flower is the sun.

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