“Virginia Woolf’s Hollyhocks” by Deborah Doolittle
Country born, they are still the village
gossips at the garden pump, watching
the neighbor’s cat, the doorman’s dog,
the grocer’s delivery boy. Some say
there is always something new to look at.
It is a commonplace they cannot help
repeating: how the days come to them
in exaggerated quantity and the hours
slide past like slugs and snails. How they
don their Sunday bonnets most days
and yearn to become part of Mrs. Dalloway’s
next dinner party, the center of her guests’
attention, leaning in the crystal bowl upon
the table. They’d bask in the conversation
swarming about them as thick as bees.
One needs only to keep one’s head turned,
as heads are turned in Regent’s Park
and Covent Garden, and nodding down
Flower Row. Pause, reflect, admire, retire,
take heed of their winsome ways, even when
terraced to the contours of London streets.
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Deborah Doolittle Artist Statement:
Deborah H. Doolittle has lived in lots of different places but now calls North Carolina
home. She teaches at Coastal Carolina Community College. Some of her work has
recently appeared or will soon appear in Atlanta Review, Bear Creek Haiku, Edge,
Oberon, Pinyon, Seems and TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics.