Ode to Dolly Parton

Ode to Dolly Parton – Hanna Harris


Soft hearted woman,

orator of the quiet, mouth

curled up to one side, gathering

all you’ve got in the dip of your tongue

to fling at me in a delicate catapult

of “men ain’t shit”,


arms outstretched

like the christ you’ve always been

suspicious of


pile of loud want

Suck the life from

my coward mouth

and live forever


Hum me to sleep

under a blanket of Tennessee

stars, drape me across

your massive porch and

stone stew me into something without



Laugh like we’ve all been beat,

laugh like you and me and pleading

are the only ones in on it

Siren sparrow woman,

love untamed, Do you ever get scared?


show me where you bury them

the men


all of us

river water lake still,

vast twang of a still night,


long, deep rumble

thank you for teaching me

that there is no such thing as “enough”


Phosphorescent beacon

of pride, thank you for the more

Thank you for the sun

baked afternoons,

the dragging of this

full life, the bedsheets twisted

into your subtle shrine, the longing


billowing tree of shiny weave

Unabashed call to me,

the moon was never bright enough for you


you were never dull

dumbed down, not

even when it was easier,


not even when we were

so scared, not even

in the early hours of the morning

when the screen door cracked

& Jolene looked so much prettier

with her mouth shut.