Monday, 12 April 2021

Ground Level

by Ellen Roberts Young

Charts tell me it’s 2,183 miles
from London to Cairo. Can even crows
fly straight that far? It’s where I’ve been,
what I’ve seen, a corridor of Europe
from England’s monarchy to the Pope’s
small independent state, and then beyond.

I ventured east to Vienna, west to Spain,
spent a month in Paris as if it were
a middle ground, bought stamps in small
nations: Liechtenstein, Monaco. All
those crowded countries: no wonder
their people envision splitting into more.

I’ve travelled much farther on
the sprawling network of U.S. highways,
this country’s enormous space. The American
child begins on one block, steps to a store,
grows into notions of space and time
the inverse of Europe’s, works back
only to 1492. And then the dinosaurs?

* * * * *

"Ground Level" is from Ellen Roberts Young's chapbook Transported (Finishing Line Press, 2021).

Ellen Roberts Young’s chapbook, Transported, describes her travels in Europe and Egypt when she was twelve and their after-effects. Her poems have been published in numerous print and online journals; she also has a new full-length collection, Lost in the Greenwood, about unicorn tapestries of five hundred years ago. She is an editor of Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Journal and blogs at Her website is

1 comment: