Honoring Dolly through Poetry

by rosemerryt@gmail.com

What the world needs now is more Dolly–more generosity, more creativity, more attention given to kids, more play, more serious work. To honor the singer & philanthropist’s 75th birthday, Limp Wrist magazine hosted a special issue of poems celebrating Dolly–her lyrics, her looks, her acts, her Dolly-ness, including one I wrote about finding her in the kitchen. You can read the issue and also watch the contributors as we perform our poems on her actual birthday as part of the Wild & Precious Life Series. Totally fun, totally inspiring! Thank you Dolly! Thanks to editors Dustin Brookshire and Julie E. Bloemeke!


Making Breakfast with Dolly


Tonight I read
how Dolly Parton
always wears
high heel shoes
in her kitchen.
“Don’t you?”
she asks.
I don’t.
I wear old brown
wool slippers.
With orthotics.
I try to imagine myself
strutting into the kitchen
before the kids
go to school,
making smoothies
and scrambled eggs
in my yoga pants,
my long gray sweatshirt,
and my four-inch
lucite stilettos.
Click, click, click
go the heels
as I teeter toward
the tea cups.
Click, click, click
as I parade
with paper towels
to the place
where the cat
has retched.
Oh Dolly,
as I slip into
these high-heeled thoughts,
I thank you
for dressing up the day.
These glammed up ideas
two-step and sashay
through the morning chores,
while meanwhile,
my slippered self
marvels at the fun,
but shrugs—
she’s just so darn grateful
for her arch support,
for the rubber soles
that ground her
as she sweeps
up the crumbs,
as she wipes
the counters clean.
Grateful that when
those high-heeled thoughts
start to sing,
and damn, can they sing,
they invite her
to sing along.