Monthly Archives: July 2023

Turned Toward the Sun


by James Crews

“Joy is not made to be a crumb,”
Mary Oliver once wrote, but isn’t that
how it often shows up at first? One crumb
of attention, then another, and another
until you’re able to follow the trail
leading to the volunteer sunflower
you hadn’t noticed blooming by the garden.
“Volunteer,” we say, meaning no human
hand nestled that seed in the ground,
though the same could be said of joy too,
which seems to spring up out of nowhere
when you see the face of the flower
the French call tournesol, meaning
“turned toward the sun.” And don’t we
each carry a small sun in our chests
that tells us where to turn, where it’s warm,
where something bright has struggled up
out of the earth, and is now calling your name?

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