A Poem for the Week

Welcome to the season of sunflowers, those wide-open beauties that stand on sturdy stems and reach for the sky with open faces.

This week’s poem is linked here from Poetry Foundation, where it is printed with permission. “wedding poem”, by Ross Gay, is a celebration of watching “a goldfinch kissing/ a sunflower/ again and again…” and of

“being, simply, glad,
which such love,
if we let it,
makes us feel.”

sunflower, soft bkgrnd
sunflowers blooming in the sideyard

This poem appears in Gay’s 2015 collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. Aptly titled, the collection honors death, reconciliation, coming together in the act of growing and harvesting, and, of course, feeling gratitude.

catalog of unabashed gratitude cover

It is, indeed, “unabashed” in its wide embrace, its short-lined, inviting poems that often include a colloquial direct address to the reader such as “Friends…,” and a kind of gentle, self-deprecating honesty that is charming and disarming. As I read these poems, I feel like I’ve been welcomed into the community of the Bloomington Community Orchard alongside Gay to work, listen, play, converse, and be. In the Acknowledgements, Gay says, “Thank you to the Bloomington Community Orchard which is the ground from which so many of these poems grow. To the family that place has grown to be. Love, and thank you.”

sunflowers, side

Our yoga practice this morning opened with “wedding poem” and included poses that emphasized lengthening, creating space, and extending through the crown, fingers, and feet, much like the sunflower.

sunflower, ladybug
a happy visitor to the sunflowers

I wish you a week of feeling the love that comes from being “simply glad.”


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