Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do you like butter?

Either my parents were hippies or we couldn't afford weed killer because our yard was a wild weedy meadow of thick razor sharp grass and dandelion and clover love. I can remember leaping over clover patches to avoid stepping on honeybees. There were milkweed groves and enormous swathes of ground cover that must have arrived on the paws of mice or bombed to earth from the asses of squawking neighborhood birds.

I never thought about it until I grew up and lived in neighborhoods where Zen and the Art of Lawnmower Maintenance is not only a way of life but dictated and demanded in the thick pages of home owner's association rule books.

I want the dandelions back. I want milkweeds and monarchs. I want butter.

When I was a kid we played a game called "do you like butter?" It was probably supposed to be played with buttercups but we didn't have those. We made do with the weeds. We held the fluffy dandelion flower under a friend or sister or cousin's chin and said, "Let's see if you like butter." If it was a sunny day and their chin shone yellow, by golly, they did like butter! Weird game. I liked playing, but how long can you do that and not get bored? I would get excited and a little rough and liked to smash the flower into the skin until it made a yellow stain. There! Now you really like butter! I sure know how to endear myself to people.

Of course, the dandelion blooms froth into big white wands and when they do, there are wishes.

I wrote this poem for my youngest son when he was two. We were out picking blackberries and there were some dandelion wishes blowing around, sticking to our fingers. He's 10 now, almost 11, and still kisses me at the school crosswalk every morning.

Dandelion Wishes

Gossamer strands of dandelion wishes
cling to your fingers
like little wings of hope.

You reach out to pluck a summer-sugared berry
from the prickly vines,
then another and another
until the juice runs down your face.

The offering is simple –
one for you,
one for me, the soft berries
dropping silently
into my pail.

The sun streams through your hair
and you are quiet in your pleasure,
consumed with the gathering.

Tonight we
will share the fruit
sacrificed for pie
but you will already
be satisfied.

Now imagine a foodie's worst nightmare. You come home, open the fridge, and find that your butter has been replaced by____________. Noooooo!

This blog is not meant to be a "Dear Diary," "Dear Abby" or "Deary Me" sort of place. It's purpose is simply to share and express. But....sometimes it does get personal.

Relationship issues suck the big one, you know? But as a friend said not too long ago, "You will emerge stronger....that's a given."

Stronger, yes, and hopefully (wishing big here) with armfuls of dandelion bouquets and scarfing up lots and lots of butter.

Guess what abomination popped up on my butter shelf and I'll send you something pretty in the mail.

Back to Zep. I love this old recording. It's amazing.

Oh yes and BAK -- your Scrabble story totally made my day. You rock! Boise Roadie here we come! It can smell our fear but I can smell the beer! I can't wait to meet up with the XDog Gypsy Caravan and hit the open road!

ps -- thanks for the hot tip on the Boise hot springs Craig! Can't wait to slip in and say ahhhhh!

pps -- Amazon should be ashamed. Let them know you care here.


BadAssKona said...

Ah yes...the "do you like butter" game. We had a yard full of dandelions, as much as my dad tried to kill them off with all sorts of poisons. Every one of them told me that my sisters and I LOVED butter. Dandelions are versatile as indicators. Once the fluffy seeds were ready to be blown into the wind, the trick was to make a wish then blow off all the seeds to make the wish come true. Who needs a fucking plot of mown grass???

Erobintica said...

oh no KM, it wasn't that abomination of abominations - oh, I can't say it, can't type it - you know, the M word - ack. If so, you poor thing!

Lovely poem - gee, everyone is full of poetry today - must be in the air.

I love dandelions. One of my favorite sights in the spring is when the dandelions and wild violets are popping up throughout the lawn before it gets it's first mowing. It's so pretty.

Okay, now to go clicking on your links.

And yes, BAK - now I got an itch to play scrabble!

and my word is

prizedic (yay!)

neve black said...

Butter? Why do I think of that famous scene from the film Last Tango in Paris?

I used to play that game too and I don't think we butter flowers either.

You're poem is wonderful. I love that your son still kisses his beautiful mom each morning. Love that.

It has to butter's evil twin, margarine. Not many cooks have that substitute in their cocinas.

I'm sending you thoughts of great big bouquets of dandelions, for my lioness, fancy-pants. ;-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

I remember being instantly brainwashed at some point in my childhood (I believed everything I was told until my eighteenth birthday) into believing that dandelions belonged in the category "weed" rather than, as I had innocently thought, "flower." Suddenly they went from "pretty" to "eyesore." But I eventually discarded those ill-fitting glasses.

Big buttery hugs, KM.

Craig Sorensen said...

Hey Kirsten, you're welcome! Have a great time at the springs. Awesome place, especially this time of year.

Beautiful poem, thanks for sharing.

Love the Zeppelin track. So raw and simplistic but driven.

And I love butter! I adored butter as a kid, and would eat pats of it by itself if I could get away with it!

I am not a maniacal yard maintainer myself. The Dandelions and clover grow nicely amidst the natural grasses. Not long after I moved in, I pulled down the privacy fence. Rabbits love my yard and I'm cool with that.

All I do is mow the grass (and whatever else grows) down once a week so the neighbors won't have a total cow at my yard being overgrown.

Wander.Lust said...

Love you, baby. Almost as much as I love butter.

Giggles and grins, s.

PS -- Best. Word. Verification. Ever!



Donna said...

Do I like butter?

I saw that question and shouted "God, YES!"

I see those European super-fatted brands in my upscale supermarket and start sweating.

That stuff is magical and not as bad for you as the margarine makers once said. My mother used to bake with margarine because the cookies kept their shape better. That goes along with pulling dandelions (which I don't)--looks matter more than taste. NEVER.

As for the abomination in the fridge, I would guess margarine, but I can't even find it in my supermarket (just to scoff at it, of course). How about some of that healthy non-dairy spread, Earth Balance?

Kirsten Monroe said...

Hi Y'all,

You're all so close on what horror found its way into the fridge, but like on Jeopardy, I must have an exact answer!

BAK -- no fucking plots. Well, the fucking plots are my favorite kind, but only if there is fucking involved and not mowing -- or at least not grass mowing. Shaving is allowed.

Hi Robin, I can't say it either. I'd much rather play Scrabble, naked or otherwise, than fuss around with turf. I have a neighbor who wears surgical gloves and uses a pair of tweezers to pluck wayward grasses from his monoculture of a lawn.

Neve! Thanks for the armfuls! My whole face is shining yellow now.

Mr. Edwards -- you, brainwashed? That's really hard to believe. Glad you busted free.

Hi Craig -- good to keep the neighbors somewhat satisfied I suppose, though I admit to getting a kick out of watching people "have a cow."

Homeless Girl -- woo hoo!! Thanks for the chickie card! Mountho!!! My new war cry!

Hi Donna, Oh how I love you. The European super-fatted brands make me sweat and drip...and giggle.

You are all just so good and buttery!

Emerald said...

I'm all kinds of behind on my blog-reading, Kirsten, but I just read this and found that poem just lovely. :)