The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Watkins Wildlife

These Days
By Matthew Thorburn

The amazing thing is not
that geese can get sucked
into an Airbus engine
and cause it to conk out
or that a pilot can tell air
traffic control, "There’s only
one thing I can do,"
then take a deep breath
and do it—ditch
in the Hudson with a buck
and whine, then walk
the aisle as the plane fills
with water to make sure
everyone’s gotten out --
but that afterwards

many who weren't hurt
in a lifelong way, only
shaken, scratched, no doubt
in shock, had nothing else
to do, finally, except take a bus
back to LaGuardia and
catch another plane home.
Amazing too how
before long people stop
talking about it, they move on
and eventually need
an extra beat to recognize

that camera-shy pilot
when he appears -- retired
now, somehow smaller
now, no longer shy --
as an air travel expert
("Sometimes carry-ons
just shouldn’t be
carried on") on the nightly
news and connect
his name to what he did
that day, probably --
let's face it -- because
no one died.
Though most stories
don’t end

like that. In Shanxi
Province, the BBC told me
late last night when
I should've been asleep
instead of sitting in the dark,
twenty-four workers --
all men, they said, and some
much older than
I would've imagined --
were trapped
in a mile-deep mineshaft
deemed too dangerous now
for a rescue, though
apparently it was safe
enough to work in. Shovel
clang and gravel rumble
turned to echoing

silence. Eventually
the company execs
sent down a slender
silver robot with tank
treads, tiny pincer hands,
a camera for a face,
but all it found -- how long
it looked, they didn't
say -- was a single miner's
helmet, dented
and dusty, its frail light
still burning.


Quickie because we're discussing new phones/Verizon plans with kids during the five minutes we can get ahold of both of them. (Any strong opinions on the Galaxy S6 vs Note 3 vs Nexus 6 vs other Android phones?) I had a mostly quiet chore-filled morning and afternoon with Paul working from home, then early in the evening we went out to dinner with Angela and Kevin at Blaze Pizza in the mall. We hadn't seen each other in weeks, so it was nice to catch up!

We have now watched all the available Inspector Lewis episodes and will have to go through withdrawal till the new season airs in 2016, woe. But here is something I have not been able to say for a long time: the Orioles and Nationals both won today! Sadly if neither could go anywhere in the postseason last year, I fear the same is even more true this year. Here are some more photos from Watkins Regional Park's nature center, both inside and in the wetlands:


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