sunflower killer
a poem by  
keith  o'connor
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 Sunflowers: ... he had  always wanted a garden with sunflowers  so,  he bought two sunflowers and planted them in his front garden for all to see.   After the destruction of his sunflowers,  he expresses his feelings through this metaphorical poem .
sunflower killer  

I saw him 
looking  approvingly 
at my bright  
yellow-orange petals 

he kept walking 
 looking into the flower stalls 
I could see him 
walking towards me 

he bent down 
took my sister and I  
by our  
green plastic pot  
paid five dollars 
to our vendor 

the next day  
my sister and I  
were planted in a little  
garden  -  close to the sidewalk 
where people could see and admire  
our bight yellow-orange petals 

a little boy and his mother 
stopped she talked to my  
new owner  -  they were 
next door neighbors 
"those sunflowers 
are going to be 
an ugly monstrous size" 
she said  

I could see her little boy 
eyeing me  
"they are miniatures  
won't grow more than  
four feet", my new owner said 

the little boy wasn't listing 
his mother wasn't listing 

the next day 
I heard a thumping 
the ground shook  
a round ball fell from the sky 
landing next to my sister 
the little boy reached 
for the ball with one hand 
quickly looked round and  
with his other hand  
grabbed my sister  
twisted her neck  
till it snapped  
her limp body  

he stepped back onto the sidewalk 
quickly looking round 
continued to bounce his ball 
while walking down the street  

I knew I would be next  

later:  his mother walked by  
saw my sister  -  looked  
 walked on 

a few hours later:  my new owner  
tenderly picked up my sister  
he was upset  -  he had always  
wanted sunflowers  
we were his first 

I  heard the little boy's 
father saying 
"my miniature-poodle  
accidently broke ..." 

the next day 

  -  the day I was to die  - 

it was noon 
before I heard the first thump 
closer and closer  
- the ground shook with each bounce - 
then the ball fell from the sky  
next to me! 

the little boy's shadow 
hid the sun  -  a cold tingly chill 
swelled up from my roots  
he grabbed his ball with one hand 
looked  round to see if  
he was being observed  
his other hand grabbed my neck  
pulled me out  
dropped me  

he moved away  
skipping innocently 
down the street 
to the rhythm  
of  his bouncing ball 

-   giver of life - 
-   giver of death  - 
indifferently scorching 
my roots  
laid bare,  
by a little boy's  
wanting of a  
 "mother's  love" 

keith o'connor 
June 2001 
 Ottawa Canada 

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