The German Compass

The reflection of the sun on the snow

Burned a blinding white light through

The window shield onto the dashboard, while

Infinite numbers of tiny crystals flickered outside


Unplanned and unprepared we ventured

Into the under populated, Eden Mills

Mom drove with determined purpose, while

I scoped out possible photo opportunities


Lurking in bushes and trudging through

Smooth, mountainous snow banks

I stole countless pictures from unsuspecting townsfolk:

All for the sake of art


With no map or compass mom guided

Us down winding back roads and

Untouched, isolated pathways

Leading to our final destination—Acton


There is woman, who resides in this town,

A lively, indestructible woman

With historical roots deep in the earth,

That reach into downtown buildings

And wrap around the local dwellers


No one could better tell you the importance

Of the phrase “home is where the heart is”

Than my grandmother, who resided in a town

Where she has lived, loved and lost.


She told us stories of the war,

England and my Grandfather:

A man I never had the chance to meet

But got to know through long reminiscent talks


While my grandmother reflected on the past

I casually looked down at her thin worn hands

And noticed something that I knew I saw before

But did not recognize…


Her wedding ring still wrapped around her finger

And mirrored on the other hand was his

How could I have never noticed the perfectly

Identical bands placed permanently on each hand?


I looked through a dusty old box belonging

To my Grandfather; fragments and scraps

He brought back from the war

One item caught my eye; A German compass

With the word “Direktion” etched in the case


I found myself thinking about an old passage

From a book I read years before:

We are all tourists in our own lives,

Searching for a guide


My Grandmother found hers

And he was carrying a compass…

        – For J. Buchanan