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Glove Compartment

At the funeral home
in a Rust Belt downtown
we out-of-towners poured in
with the dark and the rain
greeted with hugs
and tears and questions
about our journeys, our hotels,
if we lost our way.
The others, all with GPS,
discussed the tricky turns
near the hotel where navigation
systems failed and sent you
too far, way down past the train station—
then recollected themselves
and asked about the family, said a prayer,
admired the flowers, agreed it was a blessing—
before plotting routes
to the restaurant. And this could easily
have turned into a poem about
how we distract ourselves
from thinking about death or
how we dread being the ones left behind,
or how we all hurry through our lives,
navigating madly towards the same
final destination. But no—I just
want to say how, for a moment,
in the middle of our sad and tired night,
I felt a tiny cozy joy to be
making my way as
a walking anachronism
with my paper maps
well-used and badly folded
stuffed inside my glove compartment.

2 responses »

  1. More than one would think,,,sometimes the old ways are still the best,,,, Enjoyed this poem very much,,,,


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