HONORABLE MENTION 1: Dandelion Wine

By John James

On a line by Thomas Pynchon

In April, you gathered weeds

from the field,

made dandelion wine —

blithe-picked flowers

for drink,

and the old ones, white windborne seeds,

to blow into the air.

 

Crushed yellow on the pestle,

you bled their juice

into bottles, added yeast,

let it sit, fermenting over months.

 

The next year, when we opened it,

you poured the wine,

gold into my glass.

We drank —

nourishing ghosts of dandelions,

the dead persisting in a bottle of wine.