Dandelion in Organza

We were ribbon hung

like party favors,

organza dolls with hair

curled into the fantasy

innocence didn’t have a price.


The feral me already knew

the dark side of attention,

the coffin sunlight becomes

when a monster curtains

tulips with his shadow.


Born without claws I learned

to sharpen my tears into crybaby scalpels

people would avoid because once

the truth is opened eyes could no longer

claim blindness.


A dandelion in a murmuration

of starlings who devoured blue sky

in the endless search to be called pretty,

I grew in the spines of books, rainbows of escape,

and the nurture of oak tree nanny’s that taught me

how to stand through the harshest crushing wind.


©Susie Clevenger 2022

Shay's Word Garden Word List #9






  1. And stand you have, Susie. I am so proud of you.

  2. This is just excellent. I was hit between the eyes by the originality and depth of the title, and the poem just took it from there. Tears can be a potent weapon, and the loss of innocence is like losing actual skin--painful and slow to heal. The dandelion is the perfect metaphor for something that lives through every adversity and still blooms. Fine writing, Susie, from a hard-won perspective.

  3. I love this so much Susie! I know how much the dandelion represents for you and this whole poem is full of strength and the true beauty that grows from it!!

  4. Fabulous, Susie. I truly admire how you manage to stand steadfast through tempests.

  5. "We were ribbon hung / like party favors" Fantastic. And this: "A dandelion in a murmuration /
    of starlings who devoured blue sky"

  6. Oh Susie, I am sooo glad to see you writing. You have been living this poem, trying to learn to live with what is. I did like your line, "I grew in the spines of books, rainbows of escape," and though it doesn't fit me the way of the poem, I am attracted to the spines of the books. I turn them into verse lines of a Haiku or Senryu poem visually and experimentally when I go to the library. Then I take a picture and leave or get another. Some fit my blog as "spine poems". Quite a few stay in draft form.

  7. a very vulnerable poem (as your title so aptly states) and yet it has so much strength and resolve, and i'm sure it has lots of healing qualities for you. very well written

  8. Susie, the potency of the journey from victim to one who thrives pulses. So many wonderful lines in this one and so sorry the lines had to be written.


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