Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunflowers: the Poem


No pitying/“Ah” for this one
—Alan Shapiro

No, nor a fierce hurrah
for what it does without choice,
for following the light
for the same reason the light follows it.

Just a thing rough to the touch, a face
like a thousand ticks turning their backs,
suckling at something you can’t see,
and a body like a tag off the earth

so that my child hands couldn’t tear it out
from the overgrown lot next door.
My palms raw with the shock
of quills and spines. Its hold like spite, and ugly

except when seen from a distance—
a whole field of them by the highway,
an 80-mile-per-hour view
like a camera’s flash.
All of them like halos
without saints to weigh them down.
Source: Poetry (February 2012).


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