Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 79

Filling Station

Elizabeth Bishop

Oh, but it is dirty!
- this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it's a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color -
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.


Beth Hanna said...

This could describe hundreds of gas stations we´ve stopped at, both in the U.S. and especially in other countries! Wow! I love it!

Michelle said...

very descriptive poem - I can picture the filling station, the dirt, and the loving touches.

You find the most amazing poems!


Molly Sabourin said...

Dynamite! I love the poetic attention to mundane details, and the unexpected ending. That was a great pick. Thanks, Kris!

Beth said...

I really enjoyed this poem. The descriptions are so vivid and who can resist "impregnated wicker" with oil. I love the embroidered doily too. Thank you for this. It made me smile on this cloudy, Wednesday in which I have no idea what I am serving for dinner in half an hour.