When I first heard it, Girasole
Sunflower, the Italian word
I formed an instant picture
Girare to turn, sole in the sun.
How aptly named
The flower that turns heads
And in turn, turns itself
In the lazy heat of the day.
How could you not notice?
Field after field of them
In the shimmering hot summer
Of the Mediterranean deep south.
Then – years later, in Kew Gardens
A surprise field of ripened sunflowers
And hundreds of green parakeets
Noisily feasting on the seed heads.