Sunflowers in the MedianEverything is a union of one kind or another.
Foothills know this. Highways too.
In the median—wild sunflowers for miles.
Cheerful, unassuming. They are no one’s bouquet.
My dad and I try very hard to seem at ease
with each other. We comment on the bison
stampeding across the casino’s electric sign.
Pixilated, their clouded breath leads them
again and again over an imagined prairie.
Later I will make this drive every day,
memorize little landmarks: the row of cottonwoods,
the peaked shelter at the reservoir’s edge,
the water towers marking the reservation.
I will become so sick of the sagebrush,
the snow and the sun, an incessant blue sky,
that I’ll wilt to think of this place being home.
But today it’s a morning I’m not sorry to be awake for,
so that’s something. And no one mourns a coyote
with his russet head resting on the road’s shoulder.
Neither does the ditch fire elicit sympathy.
The sunflowers did not teach me this,
but their small faces look so cheerful
bouncing in the slipstream of traffic—
I will believe anything they say.