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The Little Review
Making No Compromises With the Public Taste
Poem for Monday 
Monday, 19th March 2007 12:03 am

The Firemen
By Deborah Garrison

God forgive me--

It's the firemen,
leaning in the firehouse garage
with their sleeves rolled up
on the hottest day of the year.

As usual, the darkest one is handsomest.
The oldest is handsomest.
The one with the thin, wiry arms is handsomest.
The young one already going bald is handsomest.

And so on.
Every day I pass them at their station:
the word sexy wouldn't do them justice.
Such idle men are divine--

especially in summer, when my hair
sticks to the back of my neck,
a dirty wind from the subway grate
blows my skirt up, and I feel vulgar,

lifting my hair, gathering it together,
tying it back while they watch
as a kind of relief.
Once, one of them walked beside me

to the corner. Looked into my eyes.
He said, "Will I never see you again?"
Gutsy, I thought.
I'm afraid not, I thought.

What I said was I'm sorry.
But how could he look into my eyes
if I didn't look equally into his?
I'm sorry: as though he'd come close, as though
this really were a near miss.


Not a terribly eventful Sunday I'm afraid...we had pre-travel shopping to get done, plus needed to stop in Trader Joe's and places like that, and it is a requirement that if we are in a shopping center near a pet store, we must stop in and see the animals. So after Hebrew school, that was how we spent the early afternoon. We still need to get another power adapter so there aren't battles over who gets to charge his Game Boy or MP3 player which night. I'm assuming that car adapters work the same in Europe as in the US and there aren't conversion issues? I don't think we tried to charge anything in the rental car last time!

Had a bunch of files to back up and other computer-related things to do, plus four loads of laundry to fold (amazing how two boys can produce three loads in six days) and an article about Kate Mulgrew to post. Did that around some token NCAA-watching. Wisconsin fell and now I don't know who I'm rooting for -- Ohio State's team graduation rates are terrible but North Carolina's are almost as bad and I refuse to root for Georgetown, and I don't want to root for someone I don't care about at all, like Kansas, and I don't like Florida. To enjoy the gorgeous weather, we decided to take a brief hike at Locust Grove:

White oak trees against a gorgeous blue sky behind Locust Grove Nature Center.

All the rain last week brought downed trees low over the creek.

Like the Potomac River, all the local creeks and streams are swollen and fast-moving.

Flooding has caused erosion around root systems.

The robins are enjoying the wet ground, however -- there were many pecking in the grass.

We spent the evening watching Galápagos on National Geographic, which was fabulous -- an hour on the animals of the islands, an hour reenacting Darwin's research and looking at evolution on the islands, and an hour on human impact and ecological issues, including long sections on giant tortoises, frigate birds, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. (I do not like blue-footed boobies anymore, having watched what the babies do to their siblings.) I always read that apes and humans are the only animals that build tools, but watching the eagle that uses hot sand to kill an iguana to feed its baby and the finch that pecks a branch clean so it can use it to poke at plants for food, those birds sure look pretty clever.

I'm not watching BSG, I'm done, I've had it, but here is what I would do if the series was mine: They're all Cylons. That's why they can have babies with the Cylons. The real Capricans were all killed off many generations ago and these new, evolved Cylons -- having developed consciences and a sense of spirituality -- splintered in the face of what they had done to their makers. "Earth" is either a myth created to divert the rebels most committed to repenting and rebuilding Caprican society as it had been, or it was settled by Cylons, meaning WE are Cylons! That's why Ron Moore keeps saying that the theme of the next season will be "What is a Cylon?" Unfortunately since I am not watching BSG I keep forgetting about The Dresden Files, but it leaves my Sunday nights entirely free for other TV.
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