Map reading at 60

Should I feel lost these days
I will unfold my trusty Ordnance Survey map –
brittle from many a soaking, sunshine, sweat;

and though it is coming apart at the creases,
and yellowish areas of terra incognita
are spreading out from frayed edges,

when I take off my glasses to peer
at the whorls, dots, cabbalistic symbols,
I think I can make out where I’m at – look:

miles north of this place called Despondency,
and – except for a ravine and some ridges –
not far, not so far south of Contentment at all.


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