When I give directions, I like to be specific:
The road veers left after that tall dead tree.
Turn right by the church with the red door.
Turn left at the Kalevala School.
I've been giving that direction all my life.
It's the only way to get to Automba,
Unless you're coming from the other way,
Then you end up at the swim hole in the river.
Don't blink or you'll miss the old village
After the curve as you pass Sam's place,
Past leaning barns, forgotten farm equipment,
Fresh bales of hay ready for winter.
That was the way to my grandparents farm,
Past Charlie Spicola's store and Lawler Hall,
The stoic schoolhouse calling from the hill.
The next driveway was theirs.
Remember, when you get to Kalevala,
Now you know where to turn.
Just don't look for the school;
It burnt down in 1975.
© by Deb Tillman.
Used here with the author’s permission.