Kristin Gifford is a writer living in Minneapolis. She taught English for a decade in
public school and is working on her first collection of poetry.

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Arikara Sunflowers After Roe

by Kristin Gifford 06-02-2023
A poem
An illustration of four colorful rectangular panels. The top left has sunflowers with two birds flying over it. The top right shows a sunflower being cut by shears. The bottom left shows black seeds on the ground. The bottom-right shows a new sunflower.

Illustration by Rachel Joan Wallis

When I decapitated the sunflowers today, the birds had already
pecked them mostly bald. I sawed through those thick necks with
silver shears, squash leaning to cup falling petals and black seeds in her
green palms. I was cutthroat, ripping this food from the garden. I knew
how fierce and warlike the small wrens had become, and, sure enough,
there were the fearless nails in my scalp, clawing for my soul.