Watching Curious George with my Daughters
largely due to the characters’ appreciation for donuts.
You do need to overlook the reality of a man
obsessively dressed in yellow
taking a monkey from the African wild,
oh, colonial metaphor, oh,
I like how the TV show changes
Professor Wiseman from man to woman
as, come on, the books are pretty short on estrogen, mainly
misogynistic yellow plunderers in their New York City skyscrapers
looking down on the world
and eating donuts,
perhaps plunder donuts
built by the sweat of migrant wheat harvest,
slave-grown sugar imported from despotic lands,
fight the power,
fight the monkey-stealing, donut-gnashing powers that be!
Margaret and H.A. Rey wanted to call him Fifi.
The New York publishers balked,
made them change his name.
Margaret and H.A. Rey also found it
useful to change their own name:
was tough to market, then,
was tough to show yourselves as German Jews escaped to Paris, they fled
the swastikas on bicycles, colorful drawings of monkeys in their satchels, biked
from Paris to New York.
episode after episode
from dangers, from miscommunications,
hijinks at every weiner dog or Italian stereotype
or dinosaur skeleton, you
ride a bicycle to Central Park,
never letting your face show
the strain, you smile for the ones who made you, and
my daughters smile, too,
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.
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