By Eugene Gloria
after James Wright
When the choppers churned and swayed
the swift brown current like a field of cogon grasses,
we dropped a rope below,
but the native girl, no older than my daughter,
was too weak to hold on, and let go.
We had to leave her to refuel, though we knew
what the river would do. When my duty was up,
I chose to come here, for humid sheets over bamboo beds,
for some honey in a slip--
a ninety-pound rice cooker named Ronda
and the soap dance she's known to do. But hardly for love,
as I wait with this man bent in my arms.
When the Coca Cola truck hit this pedicab driver
you could see his rubber slippers fly
all the way up the second-floor window.
His body thrown five meters from his cab.
I imagine the Lord Jesus descending from his cross,
a good marine saving the dead in limbo
But on this god-forgotten street a crowd gathers,
crows peck and gawk, and name me, "Joe."
Their faces tell a separate story, each one
ending with the sweet by and by like the girl
whose hands slipped at the end of my rope
dancing above the fury of a bloated river.
A man in a suit sloughs off, whistles for a cab,
a flotilla of rubber slippers converge on a two-inch lake of rain
A pair of white hands, mine, reach for his limp body.
And from the swollen streets, an ambulance calls,
draws closer, louder. And I hold on,
listen to children chant "Joe" in the rain.
I am back from a really lovely day in Connecticut with my family and much of it with
This one is Redbrown. The blue bead at the bottom of his ID bracelet indicates that he is male (some penguins have white beads there because it's so hard to tell without a blood test!)
As you can see, we got to get up close and very personal with these birds.
And we got to play vet with them, the way volunteers get to do sometimes at the Baltimore Aquarium with dolphins, which the trainers say helps them get comfortable with doctors for when they need them.
They also had toys to play with.
After the private meeting with the penguins, we went to see them all get fed. Note the greedy gull at right that kept trying to steal fish.
After the penguin encounter we met up with
I could and later shall describe much more about the aquarium and Mystic overall, but now I must sleep, as we have many miles to drive tomorrow! *g*