In the blazing light of the early summer evening,
we match pace down the row.
You make me a little nervous because
you’re just as quiet as me, so
I fill the space with the first thought that comes to mind.
Tournesol, I say,
gently holding the flower head in one hand while the other runs quickly down the stalk,
stripping leaves in one quick
You squint in my direction,
hand shielding your eyes,
head cocked, waiting.
Sunflower in French is tournesol.
‘Turn sun,’ I translate, because
sunflowers turn their heads to follow the sun.
I’m swimming neck-high in sticky yellow blooms,
bare feet anchored to still-warm ground.
I stand on my toes to meet your eyes over their heads as I tell you these things
I know you’re pretending to find interesting
just to be nice.
You’re a carpenter.
you deal in hard, dry lumber,
ready to be hammered into place,
boards and planks that fall before your saws and nails,
bending lifeless to your will and once there,
What of these beings,
tall as nearly grown-up children,
heeding the commands of
some far-off star?
I fall silent and
you’re more than happy to
let the snapsnapsnap replace the sounds
of such meaningless information.