I live in the old part of Olathe, where the houses are small and the trees are tall.  Hardly anyone here has a real lawn, it’s more like just lots of grass with some weeds here and there.  In my backyard, the first flowers to appear in the spring are usually dandelions and those prolific purple groundcovers (name?), and tiny plants with tiny sky-blue blossoms that look like they just fell out of the sky, and violets (the weed, not the kind you buy at the store).  I especially love the cheerful dandelion yellow – which happens to be my favorite crayon color, too.  It’s a rare sight to see the “chemlawn” guy drive through our area.  People here don’t have much money, and a weed-free, year-round-green lawn is not a top priority.

I recently came across a cute little peom that, years ago, I enjoyed reading to my young students.  The poem is called “Dandelions everywhere” and was written by Aileen Fisher.  I had copied it onto a worksheet and included a coloring picture; that way they would be able to have it at home and hopefully re-read it or have it read to them, for the young ones who didn’t read just yet. 

The wind had some seeds
in his hand one day,
and he tripped on a bush
when he came our way.
He tripped on a bush,
in our yard, he did,
and he dropped the seeds –
and they ran and hid.
They ran and hid
in the grass and clover
and didn’t come out
till March was over.
And now that they’re out
we’ve more than our share
of dandelions,

Looking at it now, I realize, with sorrow, that it would probably be meaningless to the students I have here in the greater Kansas City area: sadly,  they have perfect lawns, with not a weed in sight.  I’m afraid to even try to share this poem with them, I don’t think I could bear their asking me, “What’s a dandelion?”