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The Angel Garmin
Donna Hilbert

Long have I wished for a calm voice
pointing me home,
a confident voice telling which fork
in the forest road,
leads to the soup, the bread,
the welcoming bed,
and which to dead-end
doom instead.
One night I circled a flat Texas town
for hours in my rented Ford
searching for the Hampton Inn
I’d left in daylight before
the unpredicted storm blew down.
The water rose; the gas gauge fell.
I surely had fore-tasted hell
lost in the unfamiliar, flooded town.
Now, the Angel Garmin takes
me through the four-level interchange,
over cloverleaf and roundabout,
keep left, exit, turn right,
she tells me. Perfect
mother, guardian, guide
all knowing, but flexible, kind,
never scolding when I fail
to turn as I am told,
she simply recalculates,
finds me, brings me back home.
This poem first appeared in The Serving House Journal and will be included a forthcoming book.
Used with the author’s permission.

Donna Hilbert writes and teaches private workshops. Featured in the documentary, "Grief Becomes Me: A Love Story," she has seen her poems published in both French and Italian. Donna lives on the Long Beach, California peninsula where the creatures and scenery make her grateful on a daily basis. Learn more at

Post New Comment:
Larry Schug:
Just give me a map and the voice that's been talking to me since the beginning. The last line of the poem must have blown you away, Donna; it blowws me away.
Posted 09/16/2012 06:14 PM
Well done, Donna. I've never liked the darn things but now see them in a kinder light.
Posted 09/16/2012 01:20 PM
We call ours Lassie, as in Lassie Come Home. Love the poem.
Posted 09/16/2012 10:52 AM
My husband says we need a poem for Brother Tom Tom, since we don't own a Garmin; he says his new Tom Tom doesn't say anything, just quietly recalculates when he doesn't obey or misses a turn. I didn't bother to tell him it's because his Tom Tom has a woman's voice and she knows there's no point in arguing with a man because he would say it's her fault anyway!
Posted 09/16/2012 07:46 AM
I love this poem and I need to find out what model Garmin Donna owns. I can't submit what I call my GPS -- whose tone of voice when she says "recalculating" is less than angelic -- but it's not a nice word :-)
Posted 09/16/2012 05:49 AM

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