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The Little Review
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Poem for Tuesday


February
By James Schuyler


A chimney, breathing a little smoke.
The sun, I can't see
making a bit of pink
I can't quite see in the blue.
The pink of five tulips
at five P.M. on the day before March first.
The green of the tulip stems and leaves
like something I can't remember,
finding a jack-in-the-pulpit
a long time ago and far away.
Why it was December then
and the sun was on the sea
by the temples we'd gone to see.
One green wave moved in the violet sea
like the UN building on big evenings,
green and wet
while the sky turns violet.
A few almond trees
had a few flowers, like a few snowflakes
out of the blue looking pink in the light.
A gray hush
in which the boxy trucks roll up Second Avenue
into the sky. They're just
going over the hill.
The green leaves of the tulips on my desk
like grass light on flesh,
and a green-copper steeple
and streaks of cloud beginning to glow.
I can't get over
how it all works in together
like a woman who just came to her window
and stands there filling it
jogging her baby in her arms.
She's so far off. Is it the light
that makes the baby pink?
I can see the little fists
and the rocking-horse motion of her breasts.
It's getting grayer and gold and chilly.
Two dog-sized lions face each other
at corners of a roof.
It's the yellow dust inside the tulips.
It's the shape of a tulip.
It's the water in the drinking glass the tulips are in.
It's a day like any other.

--------

A water main break near Daniel's high school caused the closure of his middle school and then a nightmarish bus schedule for the county, resulting in the high school being closed at lunchtime right after the second of the day's midterms (there are no afternoon exams, but there were a physics review session and lots of extracurriculars scheduled, including the robotics club). I got different answers from the school office about whether the building itself would be closed or whether students who had things to do between noon and five would be allowed/expected to remain, and didn't know what I was doing until son called to tell me he was getting a ride home with a friend just after noon. So I was in the house pretty much all day, except for a 45-minute walk after apaulled got home, since the weather, though cooler than last week, is still quite warm.


A plastic dinosaur in the Garden Primeval room of the US Botanic Gardens.


This tree is called Dracaena Draco, or dragon tree, with dark red sap used to produce incense and varnishes, endangered in the wild in arid Madeira and the Canary Islands which is the only place it grows.


A couple more plants from the World Deserts room...


...because cacti are just so awesome-looking and tough it out.


And, you know, they make me snicker, like these nice erect Mammillaria.


Goldfish live in the indoor pond in the main conservatory.


The holiday model train in front of the conservatory obscures the view of the Capitol Building.


And here's the conservatory from across the National Mall.
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I liked the second episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles better than the first, in part because Lena Headey is really good in a role I wasn't sure I'd like anyone but Linda Hamilton playing (Summer Glau isn't bad but she seems to be playing a riff off her Firefly character without the extreme mania, which makes me wonder whether she has any range), and in part because I realized Sonya Walger (the nun in The Search for John Gissing) was playing the wife of Dean Winters, which makes me smile because Mike Binder says Alan Rickman discovered her. I can't remember the Terminator movie timelines all that well, but since time travel is involved in everything, I guess that doesn't really matter. It's not like there's anything else to watch on TV right now!
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