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Dwarf Sunflowers

(Or: Who Were Those Tomatoes
I Saw You With Last Still Life?)

Shy about being displayed in such disarray,
splayed before a coarse, red-striped purple cloth
on a cluttered surface, one flower turns away,
the other tries to hide its face
behind one blond Veronica Lake petal.
The stems and leaves, too, twist to one side,
like defendants leaving the courtroom,
averting their faces. They've all been caught
unaware, except for the milky-glass vase,
used to this sort of thing (she's been
in still lives before, you know). She
puts the best face on it she can,
always ready, like an experienced housewife
with unexpected guests, magically
serving up from odds and ends in the fridge
a feast of pearly gleam and murky blue
shadow, calling in the reluctant kids
from play to introduce them, smoothing over
their shy contortions (kids will be kids).
Later, when we leave, will the vase
scold the flowers? No, she's having
in her quiet way, a good time, excited
to be in pictures.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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