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Quintin Collins's poem

The Dandelion Speaks of Survival

By Quintin Collins

When they see me rise, a nebula of coronas, sun-
bursting spires strewn among their bermuda and bluegrass lawns,
they will come for me. When my roots fan a maze
around their chrysanthemums, interlace a cage
around their petunias, grab the life I’m so often denied,
they will come for me. They will come for me
when I yawn from a driveway fissure. They will come for me
when my jagged leaves sprawl over their gravel beds.
They will come with hands clenched, garden shears
snapping jaws, weed wackers to split my body,
chemicals that wither and disintegrate me. They will come
with mower blades sharp, the thunder of gasoline
combusting in the engine. They will come
with tillers and hoes and rakes and knives and torches.
Don’t they know that when the wind rocks my halo,
I cast seeds into the wind? Don’t they know
I clutch earth tighter than any English bluebell? Don’t they know
I have survived their hands and their instruments. Don’t they know
I have survived every way they have spilled my bitter milk.
I have survived. I have survived. I have survived.
I will survive again and again. When they sharpen their new tools,
when they arm themselves with professional-grade sprays,
when they call their landscapers to scrape out my existence,
when they call me weed, when they call me nuisance,
when they call me pest, when they say I am not welcome,
when they poison their own soil to stunt my growth,
know that I will survive. Know that I will spring forth
a field of gold, glisten with my petals kissed by morning dew.
Know that I will bloom like the sun spilling
over the horizon. Know that I will stretch my stem and roots
beyond all borders. I will split their concrete and this earth.

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