A Man and His Map
~inspired by Man Studying a Map by Clem Starck
I have my own picture
of a man happily studying a map.
It is my father,
he holds his glasses in his hand
off to the side
and puts his left eye
right down to the paper.
like zooming in with a magnifying glass
but he just uses his eye.
It is a Thomas Brothers Map,
not a treasure or old world map,
not a map of the wilderness,
but a block by block, page by page book
of Southern California streets and freeways.
No crackling fire, no tobacco
nor couch in the picture,
just a wooden chair and table
and a window for light.
He is finding his way across town,
checking the on-ramps and off-ramps
of the LA freeways. Useful knowledge,
just in case.
For Frank Babcock, writing has always been his vocation. He takes after his father who was a studious fellow and loved maps. Frank lives in Corvallis, Oregon, and is a retired middle school teacher and owner of Mary’s Peak Bamboo.