—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Who planted them along this gravel
shoulder, where nothing ought to grow?
Wasteland between edge of pavement
and highway right-of-way fence—
it blooms with tough, unwatered suns
rising on straggly stalks. Miles
of sunflowers—your herb of personal
hope. When I opened your last
letter, black seeds spilled out. Sun-
flower seeds like beads of faith. One
seed for every year since your diagnosis.
Seeds from sunflowers you planted
with that news, your yard
full of sunflowers. But how shall I
explain this strip of desert—between
hot asphalt and irrigated fields—
scruffily, vibrantly yellow
the length of all these travel-miles? Your
flowers of personal hope—
planted by some hand we didn't see.
Happy birthday, frank andrick!