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The Little Review
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Poem for Tuesday and Sheep Breeds


Toadstools
By Charles Wright


The toadstools are starting to come up,
                                         circular and dry.
Nothing will touch them,
Gophers or chipmunks, wasps or swallows.
They glow in the twilight like rooted will-o’-the-wisps.
Nothing will touch them.
As though little roundabouts from the bunched unburiable,
Powers, dominions,
As though orphans rode herd in the short grass,
                                                 as though they had heard the call,
They will always be with us,
                                            transcenders of the world.
Someone will try to stick his beak into their otherworldly styrofoam.
Someone may try to taste a taste of forever.
For some it’s a refuge, for some a shady place to fall down.
Grief is a floating barge-boat,
                                 who knows where it’s going to moor?

--------

From this week's New Yorker.

I have absolutely nothing of note to report from my Monday except that certain people had better turn their socks right side out, take their underwear out of their shorts, and stop leaving candy wrappers in their pockets or they'll find their dirty laundry dumped all over their bed next time. And other people had better stop clawing up the carpet under the dining room table, then dragging their tails through the fuzz and depositing it in the kitchen.

Rather than belabor the rest of my daily excitement, which consisted of trying unsuccessfully to repair an earring, looking for makeup to wear in photos at Isabel's Bat Mitzvah next Saturday, and watching Adam's new YouTube videos, I will leave you with a suggestion to go to Colbert Nation and watch his analysis of the Times Square bomb threat, plus photos of sheep from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend:


A sheep being readied for her close-up in the show ring.


The festival queen behind the table oversees the competitive aspect of the festival, where sheep as well as their wool are judged for color and thickness.


The contrast between shorn and unshorn sheep of the same variety can be quite dramatic.


If this face looks familiar to readers of my journal, it's because it's a Hog Island sheep from George Washington's Mount Vernon.


This is a more exotic Jacob sheep, which we were told is one of the oldest breeds in the world, being the sheep that Jacob herded for Laban while he was waiting to marry Rachel.


This is celebrity sheep Sir Edward of Hopping Acres, which bred the first US-born Leicester Longwools. Sir Edward has appeared in National Geographic.


And these sheep are members of the American Gotland Sheep Society. Since my in-laws are from Gotland in Sweden and have visited it (and spent lots of time talking to the sheep breeders and buying yarn so they can have an authentic Gotland wool scarf), my kids joked that these sheep are their cousins.


This, however, was my favorite identification sign for any of the sheep at the festival.
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