Thistledown

“I think,” she said. Her head was cradled on her hand, her elbow in the soil. I crouched next to the fence.

“I think,” she said again, “that I will learn everything there is to know about that.”

“You should,” I said. I pushed my cigarette into the ground and then threw it away.

Earlier she’d broken the window of the shed getting the wheel barrow out. A rake had been somehow pinned between the wheelbarrow and the lawnmower. When she pulled on it, it flew away from her like it had been springloaded.

I cleaned up the glass. It was hard to see in the wet grass.

“That is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen,” she said. I licked the cut on my thumb.

“Really?”

She brushed her fingers lightly over the grass with the drops of blood. They smeared across her fingers. She smiled at me.

That morning, she had awakened me with her hand between my legs. “You looked angry,” she said. “Hmmmm,” I mumbled.

“Everyone goes on and on about dandelion seeds and the silly blowing thing. I think I’ve seen a million of those and even more pictures of them. But this is wonderful. I heard there’s something to be made from the seed pod or something. A drug. And the flowers are so pretty for a short time. And the leaves sometimes glisten like the leaves of a lemon tree, glossy and slick, but so sharp and dangerous. Dandelions have nothing on these with their pathetic ratty yellow flowers that look like stunted younger sisters of Daisy and Marigold. Just as bitter no doubt. This could take all three of them into a field and beat them senseless.”

Her voice was liquid that ran down my neck. I felt her excitement. She was like a child talking about a new discovery.

“Are you saying I shouldn’t cut it down?”

Her eyes twinkled. “Of course you should! It’s a noxious weed!”

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