Leveler Poetry Journal
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The Google Earth Effect


Visible from space, my house

sits on a little river, or at least

from satellite view where I see

the vertebraed arrangement

of lots & streets. A red-hot

balloon pinpoints the spot

I’ve been lost all these years.

Call it Still Life with Joystick.

In this virtual diorama, I fly low

where nothing moves, no cars,

no cats, no one watering a lawn—

& shrink back to play home.

If I were a stranger, I might try

to picture the people inside,

maybe a family just like mine.

But the door is closed & blinds

drawn & there’s no hint at all

of yelling. Isn’t that normal

when stuck? Who understands

unless they’re in it? I find myself

rotating the view straight above

to look at my tree-lined sky,

or at least the sky on that day,

& pan up & out & over & away.

Tanya Grae