Happy Thanksgiving

We share from Mary Oliver Devotions, her poem, “The Sunflowers,” in celebration of Thanksgiving for your enjoyment.

The Sunflowers

By Mary Oliver

Come with me

  Into the field of sunflowers.

    Their faces are burnished disks,

      their dry spines

creak like ship masts,

  their green leaves,

    so heavy and many,

      fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.

  Come with me

    to visit the sunflowers,

      they are shy

but want to be friends;

  they have wonderful stories

    of when they were young—

      the important weather,

the wandering crows.

  Don’t be afraid

    to ask them questions!

      Their bright faces,

Which follow the sun,

  will listen, and all

    those rows of seeds—

      each one a new life!—

hope for a deeper acquaintance;

  each of them, though it stands

    in a crowd of many,

      like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work

  of turning their lives

    into a celebration

      is not easy.  Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,

  the simple garments of leaves,

    the course roots in the earth

      so uprightly burning.

“The Sunflowers” is found in Mary Oliver Devotions, the Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, Penguin Press, 2017, pp. 360-361.

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