A Dandelion for My Mother

By Jean Nordhaus b. 1939 Jean Nordhaus
How I loved those spiky suns,   
rooted stubborn as childhood   
in the grass, tough as the farmer’s   
big-headed children—the mats   
of yellow hair, the bowl-cut fringe.   
How sturdy they were and how   
slowly they turned themselves   
into galaxies, domes of ghost stars   
barely visible by day, pale   
cerebrums clinging to life   
on tough green stems.   Like you.   
Like you, in the end.   If you were here,   
I’d pluck this trembling globe to show   
how beautiful a thing can be   
a breath will tear away.   

Poem copyright ��© 2006 by Jean Nordhaus. Reprinted from “Innocence,” by Jean Nordhaus, published by Ohio State University Press, 2006, with permission of the publisher.

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Poet Jean Nordhaus b. 1939

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Trees & Flowers


Poet Jean Nordhaus earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Barnard College and a PhD in German literature from Yale University. She is the author of the poetry chapbook A Language of Hands (1982) as well as the collections A Bracelet of Lies (1987), The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn (2002), and Innocence (2006).
Exploring the dramatic monologue in The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn, Nordhaus depicts the . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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