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Time stood still (2 of 3)

And the same thing happened at the petrol station.

Filling Station by 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)

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."


  1. What a delightful picture that poem paints! Monkey suits, doillys ... and oiling the plant.

    I was sorely tempted by old petrol pumps too, but thought I might to pushing a friendship to stop every 500m!

    I like how the colour of the leaves echoes the colour of the pump.

    This is a nice little series ...

  2. Again, the light. I can see the whole poem, very humorous.

  3. Very very nice!

    I am wondering why there are no old petrol pumps in Germany --- guess there might be a law to dismantle them if not anymore in use.

  4. It makes a fantastic photo, but I think it deserves being in a museum. I have never seen one so cool!


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