I like to gossip with the sunflowers—
about who is holding their head up high
and who is nodding off. We are generous,
of course, and note it’s hard
to hold up your head all day.
So tiresome, a few of them grumble,
this showing up, this relentless drive
to meet the sun every morning, the weight
of all this outward cheerfulness. Yes, I say,
and hum as I pull the yellowed leaves
off the bottom of their stalks. What is dead
crumbles easily in my hands. In morning light,
the golden petals are impossibly more gold.
What is the ache that sometimes comes
with beauty? I face east. Though I know
it is there, I can’t see my own shadow.