Sunflowers in August
She walks the gravel one-lane road
to the gardens at the farm. Where
are the goats? she wonders as she passes
their quarters. She saw the donkey
as she drove in to the farm—all alone
as usual, meandering around.
The horse couple, in their usual field,
doing their horse thing.
As usual, the geese made a lot of noise.
In the gardens, she remembered the quick, black snake
that slid between her feet there the other day.
No peacocks today.
Just one sunflower stalk down
from yesterday's heavy rains.
She staked it back up with a piece of wood
cleared from her plot
in the beginning.
How she admired the sunflower plant
with the thickest stalk. Some redness to it,
hairy. How she appreciated that so many
had withstood the rain and the wind.
A small lustrous crop of zinnias coming up
in the late August light, not yet in bloom.
The road to the gardens is shady.
Today the ground beneath the gravel
was very dark and damp.
How she enjoys gravel now
and prefers it.
No jet skis in the background today.
No motor boats.
Just a little bit of noise from a small group
of cattle nearby, most of them lying around
enjoying the weather.
The cattle take interest in her
as she approaches their fence
to toss her weeds.
She speaks sweetly to them, but obviously
no one else speaks to them.
A day like many others,
yet different. The light has changed.
It is cooler. One can feel the fall
sweeping in on its reliable schedule.
She is tired, and sick of missing
a man she loves. She wonders
if there will ever come a time
when she will introduce him
to her small but thriving garden,
the sweet goats, the somber donkey,
the gorgeous peacocks—the glory
of the whole farm.
She wonders if she will write a poem
when she goes home—will the universe
speak to her then as it does as she is gazing
upon sunflowers about to bloom?
Will she remember her own grandeur?
She grows restless with each day
as she waits for love, but is grateful
for the black and brown cattle, the pigs clunking
at their metal food station, the overcrowded
tomato plants in someone else's plot…
She is grateful for the coffee she drank
with breakfast. For the dramatic clouds
passing by. The push and tug of the wind today.
In the August of her life now,
she wonders what's to come.