This is May’s golden heart, when blooming coltsfoot crosses over with dandelion blossoms. Years ago, when my daughter was four, her preschool was in a white clapboard Unitarian Church on a lake frozen solid white all winter, in summers sparkling blue. We canoed far out into the lake’s center, or swam at the sandy shore. To get there, we traveled along a back road flanked on either side by enormous hayfields. For a just a brief period, the flawless green was transformed into rolling gold. Endless bouquets and braided crowns. Her four-year-old spring was fragrant with the slightly acrid milk of dandelion stalks.
I remembered her childhood while writing poems today with third and fourth graders. What kind of things fill a Vermont child’s spring? Tulips, a cardinal, water balloon fights on bicycles. Now that’s worth writing a poem about.