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The Dandelions are Everywhere

By Daniel Gorman


life has become a two-months-long canvas
washed in watercolor still-lifes of the same rooms
image after image bleeding one into the next over and over and over again
in perpetuity
the days are no longer demarcated by responsibility
what happened the day before 
and why does it look so much 
like the day before that?

every day 
I go looking for hope in a fourteen-inch screen
where the news rinses and repeats headlines
laundering coronavirus briefings for public consumption
while our president pats himself on the back
as he drags goal posts down a field where the scoreboard reads 90,000 to 0

every day 
I stare at screens
hoping to discover an end to quarantine 
but there are no answers and little hope 
and I decide that maybe what I need right now
is to add some color to the still life
before I go insane
so now I go on walks

I go on walks and I see a world wearing 
a mask of normalcy,
obscuring quarantine’s subtle clues:
More dogs, more birds, more walkers, more hikers, more bikers
more patience, more distance, 
more pollen collecting on the hoods of abandoned cars
more waves and nods from folks
who smile behind masks as they give six feet 
of courtesy

I see basketball courts where backboards have been given nosejobs 
The rims removed, a pre-existing condition covered during quarantine
Beautiful faces made ugly to encourage social distancing
There are no yards with sales, no strangers buzzing between discounted memories
like bees
nor driveways with lemonade stands
no children pulling up their boot straps to help pay the rent

its hard to stay positive, to make lemonade of these lemons 
when the stands are extinct and the yards are overrun with dandelions


I sit in the grandstand 
of a ball field where ballplayers are banned 
not alone in my solitude
there’s a crowd already here
and it’s buzzing
and there are dandelions 

golden florets blaze like a hundred thousand suns
White blow balls like supernova stars 
    ready to cast to the breeze constellations of seeds
    a galaxy allowed to flourish in quarantine
        and bees, 

winning the pandemic jackpot
proliferating across 
carefully neglected lawns
            their honeycombs bursting with dandelion payloads
            and it is here at this field, 


where hope finds me
                I pluck a sun and hold it to my chin
                but there is no one here to read my fortune
                so I pluck a cloud and remember childhood games 
                    ask a question get an answer


                        Seeds like leaping dancers fly off with my wish
                            and I am light as a feather
                                        my hope restored
        I return home
    to my still life
                and everything

is the same

But not forever

I know
A dandelion told me so. 

Daniel Gorman is a teacher and aspiring writer. He is a graduate of SUNY Albany, class of 2010, and he has participated in the NYS Writers Institute creative writing workshop with James Lasdun, as well as the poetry workshop with D Colin. He lives in Albany.

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