Photo Credit: ** RCB **.Licensed CC-BY.
Photo Credit: ** RCB **.
Licensed CC-BY.

Before cell phones, maps aglow
on dashes, Never-Lost, I found
myself, one night, in the deep
of a New Jersey township development–
a tangle of calculatingly curvy lanes,
purposely jumbled junctions,
cookie-cut split-levels–
unfamiliar, first visit, with directions
and daylight going in, forgetfulness
and darkness coming out–

but knew my house lay east and north,
so rolled down driver-side window,
gazed up above roofs
and trees, studied the splay
of familiar points spanning the black,
drove home that night like
an ancient mariner, by the stars.

I store no months of water
nor canned food, no stockpiles
of guns, candles, fire-starters.
I harbor no ox nor plow.
When asteroid or Armageddon
strikes, I will only know
which way lies east and north.