My memory tends a garden plot,
But somehow sunflowers fail to grow.
The rose, of course, is everywhere:
It creeps up fences, stretches out
From vases on the window sill,
And forms a team of twelve to play
A part in clichéd scenes of love.
The lady slippers—pansies too—
As favourites of my mother fill
The humbled ranks of flowers below
The lofty daisies—weeds I thought—
Which sunflowers might replace above
The huddled hyacinths in blue,
But sunflowers are just not there.
I saw them once—that is to say—
I think I saw them once about
Fifteen?—sixteen?—well, years ago.
Or were they only standing still
From brush strokes spreading oil of
Mute yellows on a canvassed spot?
A chicken coop supports those fair
Yet faceless-faces trapped in doubt
Regarding their existence. Few
Colours have turned to such a grey,
At loss’ whim inside my mind,
As the yellow of the sunflower.