Hollyhocks Into Tanka

My father hated hollyhocks. How can you hate a flower. He never said why, but he did.

As children, we’d torment him on a walk or drive, exclaiming look! Hollyhocks!
I love them, but interestingly they are the only local flower not growing in my garden. Although my son-in-law Tim offered to plant some just this week, and I accepted.
The neighborhood is full of them, not much the worse for recent hail.
I wrote a tanka about hollyhocks. And then, in an act of synergy, Karla sent me one. I thought I’d put them together–written separately but in similar season and terrain.

black hollyhocks,
every summer
I lose
all ambition,
and wait for rain

Miriam Sagan
Santa Fe, the Westside

***
 
Eyes of the aspen
in bole, on limbs, are watching
slow cultivation
of columbines into words,
hollyhocks into tanka

In Taos, Casa Encantada
Karla Linn Merrifield

 

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