by Teri T Lahmon

Where the fence comes together there are a few tufts of grass
Lonely green shoots that have congregated to worship the presence of one another
Over the roots and in the shadow of the Sunflower.
It is now taller than my modest five feet three inches
And has finally grown too large for the squirrels to bite and carry away the head.
Two years ago I had the delight of watching a very small squirrel
Work hard for about fifteen minutes of chewing through
The thick scratchy stalk right below the bloom
Balanced partly on a green leaf
wider than my hand (how you used to love the smallness of my hands)
I didn't even try to stop it.
Half and hour later the head lay abandoned on the ground
For the next week or so I cradled it in my lap and watched it whither.
I am looking at our Sunflower as I write this
Remembering the day we first saw it
Pulling over on I-55 to rob some farmer of his prize blooms
We put it in the corner so that it could turn its head one way
And see me coming home from class
Or turn the other way to see you strolling in from work.
Today it bobs its huge head back and forth in the sunshine
Undoubtedly wondering if you have found another route
Sneaking up behind it while it was expecting you to come
Smiling down the street from your normal direction.
The Sunflower doesn't know what I know
And afraid to break its heart I watch it
Look for you
It may whither from grief and disappointment
If I tell it you won't be coming home again.


Posted on 06/17/2002
Copyright © 2022 Teri T Lahmon

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