I’m asking you who is not lost in this life––
which child or mother or husband or wife––
our direction determined by machines and signs
that know our direction, but not our designs?
I think I’d prefer a simpler way
where I could just drift through each hour and day
turning right at the blue house, then going by guesses
without Google maps or those damn GPS’s.
Remember when maps could be lifted and folded?
If you were berated, corrected or scolded,
your wife was the one who said you’d gone wrong,
not a voice from your dash interrupting the song––
“Long Way Home” on your player, crooned by Tom Waits––
as your TomTom says you’ve gone through too many gates.
No more do we lollygag, detour or amble.
We can’t program Garmin to dawdle or ramble.
Lost in our motor home, lost in our car
though we know precisely just where we are.
Lost in our lives, no direction our own
with nüvi on our dashboard and Waze on our phone.
They point us in their choice of route and direction
while never inquiring of our predilection
for scenery, museums, or byways or diners.
When spontaneity beckons, they are decliners.
Remember those trips when you were a kid
when your dad would pull over whenever you bid,
take off on a side road to see what was there
and wend this way and that way with nary a care?
Now that sort of journey is bound to excite me,
but to take off today with these systems to fight me?
The thought of their voices is bound to incite me
to turn them all off and scream, “You can just bite me!”