Study Guide

Filling Station Summary

By Elizabeth Bishop

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Filling Station Summary

The speaker's got her spy goggles on. She's looking at a cruddy old gas station, and notes just about every detail: the oil-soaked surfaces, the proprietor in ill-fitting coveralls, his greasy sons helping him out. She notes the cement porch, a wicker sofa, and a mangy-looking dog, which makes her think these folks live at the gas station. After all, there are comic books lying near the begonias.

As she wonders about these little details, she realizes that though this place may be a bit of a dump, it's also well cared for in its own, sad kind of way. This leads her to the poem's heartening conclusion, that "somebody loves us all."

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