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Elegy for my National Geographic Collection

I'm finally free of the scourge of the 'Graphic,
I've broken the cycle of monthly arrivals.
The magazine covered in yellow that clutters
the attics of National members (I'd place them
up into the millions) will no longer haunt me
because my subscription has lapsed; now I'm home free.

I used to consider them utterly sacred
and sacrilege even to think I'd toss copies
or cut out a photo. "They must remain intact
for all generations! The future of life on
this planet--God help us!--relies on such linchpins
of civilization, and not in the trash bin!"

No longer will mudmen of Borneo linger
and take up the space that I currently covet.
No, Menhotep won't be appearing at my door
nor giant bugs, Amazon rodents, or Cousteau.
I'd rather be thoroughly hated and chastized,
firmly refusing to anthro-apologize.

August 5, 2001
Inspired while cleaning the garage one Saturday

Donna Smith

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