Dandelion, 1988


Today I picked a dandelion

and made three wishes

before I blew on it

just like I do with birthday candles.

I wish that Mommy will stop

flying to California

to visit her (boy)friends.

She took Sister and I on a walk

to ask us what we thought about one guy.

I met him at the S family’s house

at a big fish fry last summer.

I said he’s funny.

He taught us how to play our noses like a guitar.

It was silly, like something on Sesame Street.

But not as silly as Daddy is

and I will miss him and Grandpa and Grandma so much

if we move all the way to California.

Mommy said they have orange trees

in their backyards, and everyone

has their own swimming pool.


I wish we will all stay home

in Missouri, where we belong.

My second wish

is that Daddy will decide

whether to stay with his wife

or leave her.

He moved himself into Grandpa and Grandma’s basement

just like we lived there when he left us.

When he told us I surprised him

with my sudden tears.

He said, “I thought you’d be glad!”

She is mean, but what if

he finds someone meaner than her

next time around?

I’m so unsure of what’s next

I started acting mean myself.

My last wish

is for forgiveness.

I wish the girl in fifth grade

will forgive me for calling her names

laughing at her

forming a club against her

and making her cry.

She almost changed schools

because of me.

When I did those things

I felt powerful like He-Man,

master of my universe

for a little while.

When the moms found out

all my hidden guilt

came pouring out in a waterfall

and I apologized and really meant it.

But I don’t know

if she will ever forgive me.

I blew the seeds away

wishing with all my heart

that my hopes will come true.

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