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


2 thoughts on “Hollyhocks Into Tanka

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