“Postcard from Sissinghurst” by Denise DiMarzio
I. My hand hesitates, hovering above
the clean white rectangle, the small space wide open,
waiting, years unwritten.
Having a great time. Wish you were here.
Vita would never hesitate.
In the white garden, I wanted to kneel down with you,
anchor my hands in your dark curls, grow roots
and wrap them around us like wild bindweed.
II. The red deer wander. Shapely ghosts follow,
one in jodhpurs, one in silk.
I trail after, looking for you.
I think I found their tree, wide enough
to cradle Violet’s creamy back, the bark
scoring ragged lines on her satin-smooth
petite frame, Vita’s wanton hands pinning her
down, down, gratefully down.
Inside, the fireplace, hearth and heat.
The sofa where she ravished a willing Violet,
shaking the books on their blushing shelves
‘til their Edwardian bindings came
so magnificently loose.
Their perfume scents the air still.
Vita’s writing room, up and up
the long tower passage, my hand trailing
along the dark worn railings
writing and rewriting.
On an easel, Violet in oils.
Do you ever think of me?
III. I put the stamp on first, wasted,
the Queen’s unbendingly proper profile
serene, oblivious. Torn into a dozen pieces,
blank, it looks like nothing
left behind for the maid to find.
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Denise DiMarzio Artist Statement:
Denise DiMarzio is, among other things, a native Rhode Islander, gardener, whistler,
stargazer, and English teacher. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Norman Bird
Flyer, Friends Journal, The Providence Journal, Echoes of Mercy, Crone’s Nest and
Hurricane Alice: A Feminist Quarterly.