Seed Bank

Goldfinches in the front yard sing.
The sunflowers drew them in.
How sparks flash
when goldfinches feast on the seeds
of the sunflower!
The apses of sunflowers
are vaulted panels of light.
Finches will mine
this honeycomb
for weeks,
then scatter suddenly,
as if startled,
abandoning the last
of the sunflower seeds.

With autumn,
gold on the stalk
fades to ochre,
and a dry leaf
jangles among raspy stalks
like a card caught
in the spokes
of a bicycle wheel.

Do the feathers of the goldfinch
shine through winter,
or do they mirror
the sunflowers’
rattling petals of bronze?

Under a frost-tinged landscape
the waiting seed overwinters
banking on its honeycomb of gold.

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