Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy
By Thomas Lux
For some semitropical reason
when the rains fall
relentlessly they fall
into swimming pools, these otherwise
bright and scary
arachnids. They can swim
a little, but not for long
and they can't climb the ladder out.
They usually drown -- but
if you want their favor,
if you believe there is justice,
a reward for not loving
the death of ugly
and even dangerous (the eel, hog snake,
rats) creatures, if
you believe these things, then
you would leave a lifebuoy
or two in your swimming pool at night.
And in the morning
you would haul ashore
the huddled, hairy survivors
and escort them
back to the bush, and know,
be assured that at least these saved,
as individuals, would not turn up
in your hat, drawer,
or the tangled underworld
of your socks, and that even --
when your belief in justice
merges with your belief in dreams --
they may tell the others
in a sign language
four times as subtle
and complicated as man's
that you are good,
that you love them,
that you would save them again.
"Like President-elect Barack Obama, poet Thomas Lux comes from humble beginnings, born to a milkman and a Sears & Roebuck switchboard operator," writes Mary Karr in Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "In a time when the country faces so many challenges, Lux's deeply moral poems emphasize the work that we must do together. However unpretentiously one of his poems might start, it often builds to a strong emotional finish." The poem above is from New and Selected Poems, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
Still miserable from being sick. Paul also is under the weather and had to take a nap this afternoon after getting up ridiculously early to drive Daniel to school where he was volunteering for the magnet testing for next year's students; Daniel, in turn, came home tired and had an upset stomach at dinnertime right when we were going out to grab something (we ended up having soup and crackers, which is probably for the best). Meanwhile Adam had an evening Bar Mitzvah, so my one outing for the day was taking him to the synagogue. At least the holiday cards are all ready to mail as soon as there are stamps on them.
...and were willing to try to climb the sink and yowl for it..
I wasn't much encouraged to go outside today given that it was overcast, cold, and precipitating a rainy mix that turned toward evening into the first real snowfall of the season.
Daisy also discovered that Paul's back was warm and tried to rest there.
Here are a few more photos from the College Park Aviation Museum and Airport.
The first time I was ever at this museum, Adam was a baby and Daniel played in these toy planes.
Here's a Washington Post article on women in aviation in the '30s -- and there were many, as evidenced by the trophies and collectibles around the museum.
We remembered that Crusoe had moved to Saturdays, but failed to notice that it was moving from 9 to 8 p.m., so we missed the beginning. Which is a shame, because the show is not long for surviving on NBC and it was a very enjoyable episode, with swordfighting and women sticking up for themselves and Crusoe ready to die for Friday, again. I love that Friday's native medicine heals Olivia when she and Crusoe are out of ideas, and that Crusoe acknowledges that he would be with Olivia if he weren't already married to Susannah -- it's a problem for the show, because we've only ever seen Robinson with Susannah in gauzy flashbacks in which there's not a lot of evidence of chemistry, whereas Olivia is right there kicking the surgeon's ass. I am completely confused what Jeremiah is up to, though -- I thought maybe he wanted Susannah for himself, but was Susannah's brother suggesting that Jeremiah goes for the boys?
To my surprise, Daniel asked to watch this week's Boston Legal -- the one with the academic doping storyline -- so we did, and I just have to take a moment to sing the praises of Betty White, who at nearly 87 is hotter than a lot of flaky skinny women are, well, ever. Take that, ABC, for canceling the series for not appealing enough to young men. I don't like having to root for Florida, but it was a no-brainer rooting for them against Alabama and I will certainly root for them against Oklahoma. I'm delighted that Virginia Tech will be going to the Orange Bowl since Maryland blew its chance at an ACC title weeks ago. And as much as I'm sick of Duke in college basketball, if they were going to lose big, did it have to be to Michigan?