sunflowerJudith Skillman
The Sunflower

Stands taller than a man,
close to the roof of a house
that might have been Lotte’s—
a houseful of children
with no mother.
Its leaves open to carry
whatever is left
in this bone-dry season
of clouded visions.
I suspect fatigue
lies at the bottom
of the well.
This flower: less than an aristocrat,
more than a serf.
Barely bourgeois,
like Goethe’s Werther
when he went to take a court position.
Its single eye opens like the sun,
a Cyclops of tufted seeds the harvest
will never see.
Nothing comes to the one
who gazes up at a single flower
and wishes for treasure.
Jack climbed
the beanstalk and fell back
to earth. Sunflower: tower,
air castle, middle-aged star.