Friday, February 14, 2014

Dandelion Wine

For my Mom, from the archives

There's a chore my momma gave me
meant to free me from her hair,
"Go on past the old grain storehouse
to the ground patch by the well
Take some scissors in your pocket
and an empty paper bag,
fill it to the top with yellow
dandelions, for your mom"

"Momma, what ya need with dandies?
aren't they just a worthless weed?
Wouldn't buttercups be better?"
"No, it's dandeli'ns I need
Get 'em now while they're still budding
Lest they fade and blow away
When you're done, you'll hear a secret
But for now, get on your way"

So I walked out past the storehouse
to the hillside near the pool
and kneeled down to pick the dandies,
though I felt some like a fool
When the bag I brought had swollen
And no more would fit inside
I stood up, to go back homeward
And my hands were yellow dyed

"Good, you did just like I asked you
See that bag is nice and full
Now come here and let me show you
what I'll make with all you pull'd"
Then she rolled the antique milk urn
which stood just as tall as me
from the corner of the kitchen
and got out her recipe

So she poured in all them flow'r tops,
Adding grapes and sugar too,
"Just you wait until it ferments,
See what dandelions can do"
Dandelion wine's a myst'ry
Not sure who first thought it up
But once you add in all the extras
Smells like heaven in a cup

In my few short years of livin'
Mom's the only one I know
Who can find a use for somethin'
Others try their best to mow
She made sweet wine from a lawn flow'r
Better try it to believe,
Tastes so sweet, you'll never notice
That the staple is a weed

Guess I've learned a thing 'bout livin'
From the chores Mom sent me through
Cause not everyone will tell you
Where to look for heaven's brew
But that's just her and my sweet secret
No one else would understand
Why we run on yellow hillsides
Gathr'ing weed tops with our hands

When I think about my Savior
Leaving heaven for a hill
With a kind eye and a purpose
For a bag he planned to fill
It's a tribute to his mercy
And his strange economy
That a rose who lo e're bloomin'
Picked a dandeli'n like me