The Road Less Taken in a Modern Age
Who wanders for pleasure, wanders alone
marking no boundary, barrier, zone.
The earth has no limits and time has no chime,
my steps undetermined by schedule or clime.
This used to be my modus operandi—
travel my sweet tooth and freedom my candy.
No email or Google, no iPad or phone,
without Internet service, I rolled like a stone.
But today I am traveling from town to town
with heavier luggage–more weighted down.
And though I go singly, I’m never alone
thanks to my computer, my Kindle and phone.
Right now I’m imprisoned and my progress is bound
by the cords of my ear buds confusingly wound
round my camera charger and Ethernet connector.
My GPS determines my vector.
No more do I travel unfettered and free.
Cell tower to tower is where I must be;
so every person that I’ve ever met
has me perpetually in their debt.
Birthdays to remember and twitters to answer,
queries of grandchildren, hip sockets, cancer.
Traveling with this extra weight is not pleasant.
I much prefer traveling just in the present
unfettered by email, phone calls or that voice
calling instructions at every choice
of northwards or southwards or eastward or west.
Yes, I know GPS directions are best,
but if I’m never lost and never alone,
I’d best just stay home and talk on the phone,
for most of adventure has come when I’m lost
from all of my past, whatever the cost.
Still the ways of the present make planning much easier,
finding my next destination much breezier.
These tricky freeways have changed in past years
and I find my memory much in arrears.
So perhaps for today I’ll turn on GPS
so I won’t get so lost and I won’t have to guess
which freeway to take: eight-oh-eight? Eight-oh-six?
Getting myself in a terrible fix.
Tomorrow’s the time to become vagabond,
using personal radar and my fairy wand
to maneuver through life by the skin of my pants.
Just for today, I won’t take the chance!