Compass: A Miseducation
Rachel L. Snyder

When I learned the world it was flat
in a map, Earth charted wide
across the teacher's desk.

If I dug a hole through the crust,
shoveled rock and hot bone
from the plot laid before me,

I'd emerge on the table--China
still millions of miles away.
I would point

to Alaska, edges tearing
towards the Pacific tine,
cast a double-armed current

across the horizon and tap
my strained fingers to Siberia's ridge.
Now I hear Western Civilization

and get tangled in California,
the center of my atlas dipping like a buoy
in the papered plain of the North Atlantic.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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