(In memory of T. D.)
Sunflowers above, all around you, like sentries stood --
not watching, not watching you, who distrusted even good
friends and lovers watching too closely, spurned our concern.
let you watch them while you worked and slept, long hours
alone, keystrokes connecting you to friends and lovers from
your ill-lit room.
Between pronouncements, endearments, naps, through the all-day
you'd look to them for light -- not literal light, which
you'd shut the shades to exclude,
but the cheer of their yellow faces. They modeled an attitude
you sought to adopt: open-petaled, strong-stemmed under hot
droopy-sleepy but happy -- and if happy itself couldn't quite
symbols of it would do. Fueled by mania, you built a kitschy
sunflower stickers, kitchen towels, pencils, screensaver
-- to which the affection
of friends and lovers added gifts of sunflower stickers,
On your door you painted blooms. You planted real ones in
Your life, your small trailer filled with sunflowers, like
spices essential for flavor.
Even in the darkness, you did yourself this favor.