My car gassed up,
tires balanced and rotated.
all I needed
I approached the rep
at the counter,
a young woman
with a Gothic look −
black hair, pale skin,
black nail polish,
silver nose ring.
With a smile she asked
how she could help me.
I told her I needed maps.
Maps of states, cities,
the Eastern Seaboard.
A few west of the Mississippi.
She was curious where I was heading.
I told her at the time I wasn’t going that far
but I didn’t trust my cell phone, GPS,
computers and satellites.
What if there’s a Zombie Apocalypse?
What good will technology be?
And who can even read a simple roadmap these days?
Her jaw dropped. She slapped the counter
with an open hand. Exclaimed,
That’s what I’ve been saying! You never know!
Here, take all the maps you want!
Her coworkers looked on
as she gave me one of everything.
I left arms full, bottled water,
nonperishable food and can opener next on my list.
About the Author: Jonathan K. Rice edited Iodine Poetry Journal for seventeen years. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Killing Time (2015), Ukulele and Other Poems (2006) and a chapbook, Shooting Pool with a Cellist (2003), all published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He is also a visual artist. His poetry and art have appeared in numerous publications, including Cold Mountain Review, Comstock Review, Diaphanous, Empty Mirror, Gargoyle, Inflectionist Review, Levure Litteraire, The Main Street Rag, Wild Goose Poetry Review and the anthologies, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race and The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina.
More by Jonathan K. Rice
Image Credit: Arnold Eagle “Three men work under the hood of a car” (about 1940–1942) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.