Spin the Globe

by Bill Hollands

Close your eyes as the ridges
tick by under your fingertip.
Wherever you land you go,
do-overs allowed, as many
as you like. Madagascar, Nepal,
Suriname, Chad – I always
wanted Chad. I knew
nothing about it.

My son and I take a road trip
each summer, just us, special
time. In the hotel room I
spread out my old road atlas,
try to show him the big
picture. See, first Bend, then
Crater Lake, then Ashland. He
rolls his eyes, so I let it go

and read about Chad. Wikipedia
says it’s a mess – poverty,
corruption, violence. We’re advised
not to go there, and if you’re gay
forget it. But there must be
beauty, of course, joy even, small
moments maybe, and I still
know next to nothing about it.

 

Bill Hollands holds degrees from Williams College, Cambridge University, and the University of Michigan. He is a teacher and poet in Seattle, where he lives with his husband and their son. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, The Summerset Review, 3Elements, PageBoy, and elsewhere.

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