Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Girl with Sunflower in Hand

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Girl with Sunflower in Hand

Article excerpt

Holding a sunflower in a Forties' magazine, A blonde with a yellow scarf knotted around her neck Like a scout's neckerchief, an American girl, Say twenty, the sunflower held before her like a hand mirror She turns away from. No flower needs to tell her

She's pretty. Her shining hair pinned back. Her brow So smooth light seems to be coming from it. Her sweater is a gray so soft it has pinks in it And the softest yellows. Her eyes are the gray-blue of water. American because she's against no background Except smoky gray, brown, and deep blue, Perhaps the steam of a train. A girl From my mother's era whose job it is to be the sun For others. But she can do this and stand alone. Her own roots. Her own stalk. Her sun Somewhere above and to the left, burning through haze.

She is the girl my mother never was, but is now, In death, where she hears music whenever she wishes, The pretty American girl who knows only hope Which flows into her hair like gold. …

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