The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
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Poem for Saturday, 'Thine Own Self,' More Zoo


Rank
By Donna Hilbert


I never wore white shoes
before memorial Day
or suede in summer.
I crossed my legs
primly at my ankle,
wore a panty girdle
and a full-length slip,
no shadow of body
apparent through my dress.
I knew better than
to crackle gum,
or walk down the street
cigarette dangling
from my mouth,
knew better than
to pierce my ears,
like some common girl.
Still, his mother
rooted out the tell-tale
signs, traces of a family
line who worked for wages
in "mediocre" jobs.
The day after
we'd spent the night together
and got caught,
he came to my apartment
with a deck of cards
that he spread across
the kitchen table,
saying Mother says
I have to teach you bridge
so we'll have something in common.
He arranged the cards
in suits to demonstrate
their ranking,
clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades,
saying spades are the boss
trump, outrank everything,
always.

--------

From Hilbert's 1999 book Transforming Matter.

I slept later than I meant to because the temperature dropped overnight and I wound up with one cat pinning down my left leg, another cat pinning down my right arm, and everyone too warm to want to move. (See Robin Wood's Theory of Cat Gravity if you do not have a cat and don't understand the phenomenon.) Eventually I hauled myself downstairs, wrote a review of "Thine Own Self", did some research on the relative merits of the Kindle and Nook (opinions welcome -- my Facebook friends are heavily in favor of the Kindle), and took care of various chores.

Adam started his job as a dog-walker and Daniel was glum because his girlfriend broke her foot. Daniel also had the whole family in hysterics by announcing, "I don't think I inherited any intelligence" when disgusted with us at dinnertime -- far be it from us to argue (Adam labeled this an elephantine failure, which I believe is even worse than an epic failure). I didn't walk as much as I did on Thursday, though I did manage a couple of miles before we went to my parents' for dinner.

We had Asian food -- I had relatively low sodium tofu pad thai -- then came home for Smallville, which I loved until Clark's decision to let Lois cast him as a god instead of trying to break the crazy cult of its warped belief in the supernatural; if they hadn't all been arrested (and are they going to charge every single person in the town?) they'd just reform the cult around a new god, and those kids will be screwed up forever. That ruined an episode that made me really happy in every other way -- the creepy "Lottery" town, Lex's ongoing obsession with Clark "he promised we'd always be friends and our friendship would be the stuff of legend"), and Lois on top when she and Clark finally go to bed together! Sanctuary, too, was really enjoyable this week, since you all know I like it when Kate kicks ass and I really had no idea where the creature was...I was sure it was the old lady, then the guy who got shot, and then when we knew there was a villain I expected it to be the guy who worked in the bank.


These photos are all from July at the Maryland Zoo. Here, an Addra gazelle seems determined to carry a log much longer than it is.


The rhinoceroses try to stay in the shade out of the heat.


The lion has a similar plan.


And you can see how warm the ostriches look, though the zebras don't seem to mind the sun as much.


The chimpanzees have both indoor and outdoor enclosures so they can move between them.


The zoo has baby warthogs that are kept off display part of the day for observation and quiet time. One of the parents looked unhappy to be kept outside.


The East African crowned cranes keep near the water when it is very hot out.


This is not an African animal, but the zoo has no Central American region yet is involved in breeding Panamanian golden frogs since they are critically endangered. They live in rainforests, so the zoo keeps them in the Chimpanzee Forest exhibit.
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