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Laura McMahon

About this Christian Poet:
I'm a wife, mother, library worker and writer from Oregon. This poem was written after observing my 14-year-old daughter one spring morning and remembering what it was like when I too was a teen.

A Young Girl's Fancy Turns

She has an urgency
to steal a daffodil
from the far corner explosion
in the yard, and study its complexities.
Yellow wet-paint spots glow
against forest-green spikes. After all,
we only possess these delicacies
two weeks of the year.

But there is the pounding;
if she puts her face up to glass
and looks hard right, there would be
the boy: a loose-limbed teen slapping a basketball.
She does not want to be seen
walking the stretch of yard
for a flower. She tells herself it isn't
just him: it's misting also
and she must lace up shoes for this whim.

Patience... He will tire of this spring
fever street-tic and retreat inside. She tries
glasses--perhaps they can bring a bloom closer,
yes, differentiate the daffodils' strong crowns
from the slightly paler haloing cat's ear
petals, but it's still not enough. She needs
to know how the crown melds, bend one over
and see exactly how the dark stem flows
into the velvet ears, reach in and feel the pollen,
rub the translucent flour into her fingers. Hear
the snap as she crooks the stem just enough,
deeply inhale the unique fragrance of this one flower
as her eyes cross in a saffron haze.

The ball bounces still.
If she must wait until tomorrow, fine.
Maybe the sun will shine and she can run
barefoot the span of spring green grass,
crushing rebounding dandelions.
Also brilliant yellow against dark green...

Flowers teem! She eases the door unnoticed
and there they are. A pair: one squat, sodden
dandelion, slim-stemmed, hiding yellow's altruistic
nectar, waiting sun to open; plus a bonus
alien seedball, bedewed, unripe, but invincibly
stalked, dripping milk—both delectable
to pick apart and examine, release the grassy scents.

Intricacies enough. Just because they hang around
nine months of the year, are they less
worthy of study?

Copyright©2003 by Laura McMahon