Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poem 26/30 Directions


My blood is my compass.
I learned how to get around from my father.
He never drove a car but he memorized subway maps,
knew which streets curved into avenues, remembered
stables on Avenue C, Bronx farmland, which ships docked
on Gouverneur Slip and which ones sailed out to Red Hook,
called strangers “My Friend.” The only time I saw him get
nervous was the day a cop reprimanded him for jaywalking
on 42nd Street; it was the closest he ever came to a criminal
record. My mother believed I couldn’t learn to drive,
You have to grow up in a car, she said, but I showed her,
got a learner’s permit when I was 19, bought a Chevy Nova
older than I was, drove to Florida, no problem, I-95 straight
through, and hook a left. Go back in reverse. Wish I could.
From my father, who never left the city, I learned to navigate
without fear – I am never lost. I may not know exactly where
I’m going, but I look at the road and I know exactly where I am.

© puma perl, 4/26/11


  1. thank you! it's encouraging when someone reads this stuff - it's not like posting and tagging, which i haven't done for ages.