Rites of Passage

Angels we called them as children

(perhaps still do at the back of our

adult tongues), the seeded heads

of spent dandelions which floated

through idle hours. Today with

high summer tipping towards autumn

there is hot sun tempered by brisk

breezes and they are everywhere,

innumerable minutes and seconds

of dandelions clocks, thick and flying

up to the beyond, so light and fleeting

only the feet of the young could

keep up with them. I reach up

and cup one between my palms

- open them - blow it on its way

with a wish the way my mother

taught me, lean on the metal gate

and watch it disappear into

white splinters of time.

Patricia Leighton