Dad and I were sitting in chairs on the deck enjoying a spring day. I had just planted my herb garden and poured us a glass of a coconut roasted chocolate porter brewed in Ashland.
We sipped the beer and agreed it was terrible. I think it might have been the worst beer I’ve ever tasted. It came into my possession as a gift from a friend who didn’t like beer but had been given the porter as a present.
Dad looked down to the yard. A single dandelion had somehow survived a thorough mowing earlier that morning by our crack father and son lawn maintenance team.
He asked me if he could quote a poem. I said of course.
He composed his mind for a second and then recited:
Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass—innocent, golden,
calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.
Who wrote that? I asked.
“Walt Whitman,” he said.
We discussed the poem for a few minutes and then I dumped the glasses of porter onto the lawn, careful to avoid the dandelion.