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Picture of the Day
February 11, 2019

we woke to the sound of scraping
shovels. sarah:
"did it snow last night?"
i looked out the window. "an inch or two." we were on
an unfamiliar philadelphia street, narrow, and i watched people sweep their windshields
with floor brooms as others jockeyed cars into newly vacated spaces. our beast was in a parking garage a few blocks away and we needed to talk to management about our pass because something had gotten lost in translation. the man in cluttered office was nervous and kind, lifted boxes off a broken swivel chair so i could sit as he flipped to the entry in a three-ring binder. he was crisp and efficient, no nonsense, simply decisive, a testament to how things used to get done. i've been away from the northeast for so long i couldn't tell if he was an exception or that's just how it still is here. then we picked up teresa and she promptly tucked into aromatic meatloaf sandwich as we drove to
john heinz wildlife refuge. we spoke of prisons and pathologies--why stand on ceremony? philly feels unlike any place i've been. my experience is limited, but it strikes me as a cross between baltimore, chicago, and prague. perhaps it's too early to call. whatever the case, the wildlife refuge felt a place apart. odd that it's nestled between interstate and airport. or maybe that just makes sense--what better place for wildlife than a no man's land? back when i commonly tripped between new york and baltimore, how many times did i drive past within honking distance on I-95, little knowing an entire city and its antidote were within sight? life is everywhere, so close, but we just blast by. i got such a good feeling from the people who work there, federal employees, fish and wildlife department, some of the ones who got laid off in the latest effort to destabilize the government and the society it purports to represent. sarah gave her spiel, dry run for tomorrow's workshop, and we paused to watch waterfowl on the way back, dabblers and divers, wigeons and mergansers. lucky ducks! how many other creatures can walk, swim, and fly? i was so enamored i ordered one for dinner at the good king. sorry, my versatile friends, but you are delicious!