Thursday, July 02, 2015

Pale Yellow Hollyhock; so this is Idaho

I think hollyhocks may have been more popular when I was young than they are now.
Recently, I haven't seen them often, except 
for the pink puffballs my daughter grows in Michigan.
So when I found this pale beauty last week on the Daily Walk, 
I was extraordinarily pleased!
 It really is a lovely soft color!

The heat continues and we haven't been taking our walk in these 100 degree temperatures;
the Only Dog is very disappointed. Should one of us rise from our chair, 
she rushes hopefully toward the door.

So This Is Nebraska

The gravel road rides with a slow gallop
over the fields, the telephone lines
streaming behind, its billow of dust
full of the sparks of redwing blackbirds.

On either side, those dear old ladies,
the loosening barns, their little windows
dulled by cataracts of hay and cobwebs
hide broken tractors under their skirts.

So this is Nebraska. A Sunday
afternoon; July. Driving along
with your hand out squeezing the air,
a meadowlark waiting on every post.

Behind a shelterbelt of cedars,
top-deep in hollyhocks, pollen and bees,
a pickup kicks its fenders off
and settles back to read the clouds.

You feel like that; you feel like letting
your tires go flat, like letting the mice
build a nest in your muffler, like being
no more than a truck in the weeds,

clucking with chickens or sticky with honey
or holding a skinny old man in your lap
while he watches the road, waiting
for someone to wave to. You feel like

waving. You feel like stopping the car
and dancing around on the road. You wave
instead and leave your hand out gliding
larklike over the wheat, over the houses.

Ted Kooser

Sure Signs, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980. 

To test my feeling that the hollyhock is a rural flower, I decided to see if Ted Kooser had a poem with hollyhocks in it. Yep! And if the mice build a nest in your muffler, you might have more time to write poetry!

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