Hats & Maps

1.  (in the thick)

Once an argument could cut
like a two-edged sword. But

that’s old hat. The headgear
now is helmets. And arguments 

cut like shrapnel, every way. 

2.  (in the city)

I like it that my map 
talks to me in a gentle
voice while I drive. Not

like we fallible persons
at all.  When I lose 

direction, she walks me
back. Recalculates
calm as I swear and

cringe into another 
lane to turn around.

3. (in the boonies)

I send nurses now
to find my father
on the farm he so
doesn’t want to leave.

“The GPS,” I warn,
“won’t find it. And 
the road signs have
all been shot.” That’s

just the beginning
of an explanation. 

4. (in the hat trick)

I strap on my Kevlar,
wishing for a newer
model. I strap on my

sword, knowing it
can never cut enough
ways. When the map

stops speaking; when
every weapon fails;
then, sometimes, the

sharp edges rest,
and the old aches
allow a deep breath. 

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