Never Lost

Our family’s first GPS, we named “Gertrude.”

It was Dad’s idea—she had a slight

British accent, and it just seemed to fit.


“In half a mile, turn right.”

“In 500 feet, the destination is on you left.”


Even seven years ago, computer voices

seemed sassy, a little indignant.


“Really?  You had to invent me just so

you could figure out where to go?”

“Myles, would you like me to read

the instructions a little…slower?”


Of course, when I make a wrong turn—

going right instead of left—it is really

Gertrude’s fault.  And I hate it when she says:




I wonder if Lewis and Clark, Columbus, Magellan—

I wonder if the explorers had a good sense  of direction.


“Definitely seen this Ocean before.”

“Hey, I recognize that rock from two months back!”


I imagine them swearing at their compasses,

throwing maps, cursing the stars—“How the hell

do you tell which one’s north anyway?”

And at night, while tucked into hammocks,

they dream of a mysterious voice from the future:


“Proceed along the route…in two centuries

you’ll arrive at your destination.”



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