Saturday, August 2, 2014

Map

by J. K. Durick              

Now we know the distances and begin
To measure the time we’ll spend;
This is the mother-lode, the raw
Materials of journeys, of visits, of
Getting away, of arriving there at last;

Its legend and lines, place names
And route numbers, the slight color
Variations to mark mountains and
Forests, various forms of water,
Rivers, lakes and the like, assure us,
Provide us with a plan to go on;

We unfold it, and then lay it out full
On the floor, on the kitchen table,
Draw a line with our eye, set up
The trip in our minds, imagine all
The turns and towns along the way,
The best places to stop for food, for
Gas, for just stretching, walking a bit;

Things like these can’t be left to chance,
We rarely just set out as if destinations
Didn’t matter, as if we were explorers
As if guidance wasn’t always available,

Instead we head out, catch 189, then 89
Heading east, call ahead for reservations,
Watch mile-markers and exit signs, and
Keep the map, folded just right, handy
Ready to consult, always ready to confirm
We are exactly where we need to be.