Poem of the Sunflower
Sukhada, Age 12, India

The golden hair
Streaming down her face
As fair as the lion in his lair
Or the garlands of flowers round the winner of a race.
As yellow as the one it follows
Stopping only when the day draws to a close.

She could not move
Her eyes from the sight
Lest she should lose
That beam of light.
She smiled through the day
And at night wiped her tears away.

The Great God moving ignores
Her gentle devotion
As through the sky he soars
And the sun continues its revolution.
Yet she does not falter
Her praise she will not alter.

Slowly, her legs plant in the ground
Yet it makes no difference to her
At last her idol she has found
With any difficulties she will bear.
Yet still, he does not spy
The devoted maiden, while flying by.

Her lovely golden tresses
Become petals of flowers
But the dazzling glory of the petals do not lessen
Condemned to live forever.
And yet, to this very day,
The flower, to the sunís rotation, does sway.

And now the once fair face
Has become brown due to
The sun, her eyes followed through space
And the sky that is so blue.
And her daughter and grand-daughters also
Follow the sun, and in early morning cry tears of woe.

For still the Driver of the Chariot of the Sun
Engrossed in his task does not see
The flowers that follow his majestic run
Some things will not change; they will always be.
Thus is this story of the poor maidenís despair
Of her unheeded devotion of the Sun flying in air.

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