by Ellen Roberts Young

The first map 
Stevenson drew of Treasure Island 
was lost; he labored
to redraw it from his story.

The map to my childhood 
is simple: go south on Winchester,
take the first right.  Pass a prune
orchard, you’ll see my redwood fence.

Each decade the census maps the country.  
At my first counting
I played in San Tomas Creek,
bridged by my own street.

At my second, 
I drove to Stevens Creek, plants
on a tree stump my biology project.
Dwellings between were not mapped.

I store maps from travel
in the living room chest, 
as if they could keep memory
from getting torn, losing its edges.  

Mind focuses 
on treasure: a sight, a taste, 
a meeting.  Maps
mended by memory are wrong.

Ellen Roberts Young’s third chapbook with Finishing Line Press, Transported, came out in early 2021. She has two full-length collections, Made and Remade (Wordtech, 2014) and Lost in the Greenwood (Atmosphere, 2020) as well as poems in numerous print and online journals. She lives in Las Cruces, NM (Piro-Manso-Tiwa territory).