By Virginia Lee Hines

Note the sentinel sunflowers’ staring large eyes

amid yellow blaze. Raucous blue jay calls

flashing blue wings as seed falls.

A Siamese cat climbing a pear tree swats butterflies,

elusive travelers on the air. Blossoms tantalize

waving garish signals at passersby and recall

dancers’ seductive rituals. A child bawls

a wistful indignation. Summer heat pries

all desire from my stultified senses.

What remains is an interior climate: cool,

remote, undesiring, impervious amid allurement,

aloof from sultry scene. Yet hard consequences

evolve from such remoteness. The eventual cruel

reward, mind over flesh, is an unnamed estrangement.

VIRGINIA LEE HINES lives in Rochester, where she leads a women’s poetry group and writes the Woman Poet column for “The Other Herald.” A former Chicago public schoolteacher, she has been an active voice in the Finger Lakes-area arts and feminist communities since 1964. Her first full-length collection of poems “Taboos” was published in 2012 by Hidden Valley Farm Books in Perry.