The yellow of the tallest sunflower
was painted by Van Gogh en plein air.
Walking in the cool of the shadowed tower,
you feel your skin played upon by soft air.
The basket beneath the balloon is empowered
as you rise above mere mortals on hot air.
The dark clouds and afternoon showers
erase heat and light from dense summer air.
The green hammock at the midday hour
naps beneath the Bartlett pear, swings in midair.
ELLEN PICKUS taught English and creative writing for thirty years on Long Island, where she lives with her husband and her son. Retired, she now conducts creative writing workshops for adults and does volunteer work at an elementary school. Her work has appeared in Long Island Quarterly, PPA Review, Fan Magazine, Midwest Poetry Review, The Avocet, Blue Unicorn and The Ghazal Page and in the anthology recently edited by Nassau poet laureate Gayl Teller, Toward Forgiveness. She won first place for her poetry at the Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts, the Plainview Y, the Performance Poets Association and the North Shore Land Alliance. She is selling her book of poetry, Bittersweet Is an Acquired Taste, to raise money to help fight Alzheimer’s, a disease that affected her mother.