It started with left and right.
When it’s left, it’s never right
and when it’s right it’s never right.
So there she sits cross-legged
at the side of a sparkling creek,
stumped like an ageing log
with an ornamental toad on top,
wiping tears off her right cheek,
or maybe it’s her left,
not that it matters a toot now.
And she’s misplaced her favourite hankie
that’s useless anyway because snot
blows right through the lace into her hand,
and she wonders how she could be so lost
when she’s holding a map in front of her face.
She just doesn’t know which way
to hold it; this way up or that way up.
That way up means going left, she thinks,
but confirms it by holding
an imaginary pen in her right hand
to see if a pen feels right
in those fingers. Problem is
a pen’s never felt right in that hand
because she should be left-handed
but Mrs. White in 1st grade
used to smack her left hand
with a ruler until it was
bruised and cut whenever she reached
her left hand for a pen.
But scissors still fit into her
left hand – so there Mrs. White.
She sniffs and wipes a silver streak
of snot across her sleeve,
and stares at the map again.
She can’t understand how she’s
walked so far and for so long.
She’s tired, she’s cold and
she’s just zigzagged for 36-hours
back and forth along the Continental Divide,
trying to follow the flow
of this cheery looking ice-cold creek
to where she left her car.
She doesn’t know that her car
will be found before she is.