Dandelion Application

blossom blur close up dandelion
It’s a bad rap, his ex-con image:
         rough-edged leaves
             and desire to lay low
                  to the ground,
but his references vouch for his many talents.

They say he’ll work anywhere outdoors, especially
since his roots run deep, his genealogy
going back before the Mayflower. And speaking

of family, his cousins the sunflowers and daisies 
cultivated his social skills like mastering
Buzz speak —popular with the bees—

to advertise his nectar and pollen for their honey.
Please note one of his references is the Queen.
(Butterflies are admirers, too.)
You’ll also see he earned “companion plant” status
because his taproot draws nutrients to shallow-rooted,
and he releases ethylene gas to aid others’ ripening fruit.
Not to limit his benefits to insects and fellow plants, he offers
his young leaves as people’s food, especially in salads, and aids
human health through traditional salves, teas, and tinctures.

It takes a lot to raise his dander. For defense, he retracts shuttering 
bracts to shield himself from nightly dew or damaging storms. Yet 
finally tiring, he trades his golden crown for white tufts.

Unfazed, he switches into carefree mode,
		the wind through his hair,
				and shares all he knows.

Laura Gunnells Miller

Laura Gunnells Miller, who lives in southeast Tennessee, loves to explore backroads and create travel photography books. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in American Diversity Report, Tennessee Voices Anthology, and a Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Anthology.