Dandelion Prinsloo

A bike ride through Colonial Hills

You peddle past the smell of sprinkler water on warm pavement
You are not depressed
Just a little tired
And breathless from the peddling uphill with the weight of hot sun in your satchel.

There are no shade trees lining Maint St.
Not like in the nicer neighborhoods
The only thing separating you from the sun is that you could never burn as hot
Or you know you might burn up too quickly if you did.
So you keep it inside
The breathlessness
And the inhale
And release on the exhale

An exchange of pain for life.

There are no shade trees lining Main St. You cannot afford them.
You cannot afford to live in a neighborhood with shade trees lining the streets as much as you cannot afford to die in a neighborhood without them.

And oh, scales of being
And oh, the feelings inside feelings, inside feelings, inside feelings.

I am not depressed. Just a little tired.

Hiding behind better

Waiting between moments quiets the noise of feeling.

The last time you see a dying relative before laying them to rest.

Seeing the glass fall before it shatters on the floor.

The grey silence at the eye of a storm,

knowing the worst has past, yet is somehow still to come.

Not wanting to wake up – choosing to stay in bed.

Letting the third phone call go straight to voicemail as well.

Waiting for so long, hope becomes painful to reconsider

one last time.

The moments between seem farther apart, or

get misplaced entirely.

Fatigue and feeling are interchangeable.

So does it really get better?

It’s supposed to get better.

It’s supposed to get “better”.

Waiting trades places with being alive, and reality becomes

Moments of feeling.

Grief of one thing, and the anticipation of another,

and anxiety, and indifference,

and fear.

Eventually, waiting becomes so tiresome, and reality so heavy…

As time gets lost managing the moments in between,

You forget to hope entirely. Or avoid it.

Waiting has always been very difficult, but

it was supposed to get better.

My name is Dandelion

Dandelion became my favorite flower,
and that’s how I saw myself when I slept.
I was always a dandelion when I dreamed.
I wanted to become one when I woke up, too.

Dandelion seeds sprouting from my lashes,
tap roots taking me to my depths.
On my breath, dandelion sighs, and my feet tracing dandelion steps.

My limbs becoming jagged dandelion leaves,
Embracing and gamboling in celebration.
At my base, a crown holding up my hollow, but resilient stem.
My whole body, and being
Full and nourished.

My face shining, dewy and vibrant in the early sun.
Sprouting and shouting indignantly through cracks of pavement,
Escaping constriction of what was never meant for my body, or my mind, my soul –
Blooming into something completely my own.

My favorite flower
Softer than the dreams that held them
Irrepressibly present, and real –
awake in the reality of my entire self.
I was always a dandelion when I dreamed.
And now, I am Dandelion when I wake up, too.

Dandelion Prinsloo (they/them) is a second generation Maasai-American living in Atlanta, Georgia with their fiancé, Ben. They began writing poetry as a way to deal with their depression, and process their memories of trauma. Dandelion is a Unitarian Universalist, and thanks their faith community for supporting and guiding them through their journey of self discovery and acceptance as a Black and Indigenous trans person. In 2018, Dandelion began a Master’s program in Resilient and Sustainable Communities at Prescott College, and is excited to begin a Ph.D. program in Sustainability Education at the same institution; they hope to transform our global narratives around environmental racism through the education of young minds. Dandelion enjoys performing and teaching Improv with their friends, their cats, Cactus and Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and swinging as high as they can go on swing sets.

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