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Sunday, December 30, 2007


by Scot Siegel

Remember when the weatherman used chalk,
and those satellite shots came every twelve hours?
We used to warm our hands over television sets.
The world was full of potential -

Yes, we worried about a Cold War; the possibility
of nuclear winter! Now we worry about winter,
in general, and whether the icecaps are going the way
of the dinosaurs --and whether we will too--

My mother wanted me to be a doctor, or a lawyer
I wanted to draw isobars and isotherms, high & low
pressure cells, and occluded fronts --I wanted
to be The Weatherman like nobody's business.

Then I forgot about the weather and did what all good
son's must do; I blew off law school and became
an urban planner. I'll always remember that frosted
glass globe my parents gave me. It was electric,

internally lit, and calibrated to the earth's rotation--
It even tracked the sun's path twenty-four-seven
until the bulb blew--

Now I have the standard issue: a cardboard orb
I bought for my daughters when they were in
grade school; it's shellacked with countries whose
names have changed. It doesn't get much use--

Some days, when our country's under siege
and our leaders are doing their best to negotiate
the end of the world, I take the world out of the closet
and dust it off; then I give it

a good hard spin!

Scot Siegel is a land use planner and poet from Lake Oswego, Oregon. His poems have appeared on The New Verse News, The Sunday Oregonian, Open Spaces Magazine, Acorn, and Red River Review, among others.