By Pat G
For some reason, I aways believed
dippers could walk under water;
under the precise, pale blue lines
stamped across sheet one-one-nine.
I've seen them dipping their white bibs,
acknowledging the cartographers'
fine borders - as if rivers never lose control -
and hurling themselves against the flow.
The map's conventions ignore
the broken banks, the widening shallows,
the scattered rocks, the places where
fat birds flutter into the stream. I stared
for an hour, once, hoping for resolution,
ignoring packed contours, crags,
vascular signs of vague paths.
I wanted proof. I'm a follower of distinct dots,
dashes, rights across awkward folds,
tracks confirmed by lichen stiles,
routes that cross green A-roads,
pale lemon lanes, villages
laid out in blocks.
There was no confirmation
of my place or my loss.