for Sunday Whirl 282 and QKJ #15

282 day-15

She Learned To Speak As If She Weren’t From Here

Went to college with Baptist ministers. Bland
as white bread from some convenience store, she is
as near to stale as makes no difference. Drinks
decaf tea and was born here. Her unhappy parents got
along. Her comic book hero was Scrooge McDuck, and

she likes maps. Not the shrill, red-lined, interstate
simplifications, each peak or town a perfect equal circle
and nothing to draw her. Her maps have contours, spent
mines, family graveyards. They have come to her
so tightly rolled she needed a warm iron and damp

pressing cloth to relax the paper without leaving singe
marks like scars. Real maps. Boundaries a fine gray
stitch and thin roads that follow blue ribbon waters
as a wake follows death. Unincorporated towns whose names
present a taste of why they never became perfect circles.

Prehistoric peoples blow smoke off the blackberry bluffs.





  1. Made me think of the joy of envisioning places via paper – not the internet.. real maps are drawn from inside and that parting image – simply beautiful


  2. YES. I love how you snuck all three prompt thoughts in there. (Mine aren’t that subtle.)
    LOVE this:
    “Her maps have contours, spent
    mines, family graveyards.”


  3. This is so great! I have looked at my share of very old maps, and have lots of old atlases. I’m sure some wonder why one atlas wouldn’t be enough, but when researching family histories, one is never enough.


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