Poem: Cartography

rte 7

Cartography

Your children tell you
you are genetically incapable
of traveling the same road twice,
that some madness or pioneer spirit forces you
to seek new roads,
new ways to the same place,

and today, you have done it again,
forgoing the familiar,
choosing to travel without a map,
simply the sun and your own sense of direction
to find your way home through strange towns
and extra hours.

It is not a bad thing this madness,
this desire to see new towns and mountains.
Somehow, it helps you tie the geography of your life
together, everything criss-crossing in your mind,
not just time and space, but the metaphysical
which comes alive in the new
as your mind lights up with each sweeping curve in the road.

What matter if you get home late, as dark falls?
For if time is lost, something else is gained,
something not visible,
but of far more value.

About this poem. 

I had a meeting in Barre yesterday. Google maps very efficiently got me there in the exact amount of time promised. After the meeting though, I do what I often do (ask my kids) and decided to take a different way home.

Yes, it took an extra hour or two to get home. But that’s OK. Better than OK actually.

Tom

PS – The photograph was taken on Route 7, somewhere south of Burlington, VT.

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