Local Knowledge


They veer towards me,
drawn, irresistibly,
by something they see,
something imaginary;
something they think
they see, within me.
It does not exist,
it is not there;
why they see it,
I neither know nor care.

A source of local knowledge
is what they see,
to tell them how far,
from where they are;
where they need to go,
to where they want to be.

Anyone else could tell them,
in a heartbeat,
how to reach their
chosen place, or street.
The one person they
should never ask is me;
I lack the knowledge
they fancy they see.

If only they could
sense the truth;
if only they knew.
Don’t ask me
for local knowledge;
I haven’t a clue.
I am bound
to mislead them;
what else can I do?

We all have our individual foibles and weaknesses, and one of mine is a complete lack of attention to the names of streets, roads and places in my locality.  For some reason, I’ve never been able to remember this kind of (highly useful) information.  I don’t seem to have any problem finding my way around, so it doesn’t constitute much of a problem, as far as I’m concerned.  It does become a problem, however – for other people – whenever I’m stopped in the street by somebody wanting to know the way to somewhere or other.  You might not think this anything to worry about, but you’d be amazed by the number of times it happens to me; I go through periods when it seems to be happening – on a daily basis – two or three times a day.  I get so perplexed by the frequency of these occurrences that, at times, I become convinced that there’s some conspiracy behind it.  A more reasonable conclusion, of course, is that, as I’m not a driver, I’m always walking around everywhere, and so am easily available to anyone who wants to stop me and ask me for directions.


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