Traveler – A Thesaurus Game Poem

If I traveled with only a backpack, 

With no place to go and no place to be

A wondering wanderer, I can be called

Searching for my identity

.

If I traveled in my trusty RV

And practiced my talent for strings and flute

My gypsy ways could bring excitement

Until my parking spot starts a dispute

.

If I traveled to places new and exciting

Bringing my own values to locations unknown

My ignorance would call me explorer, pioneer, pilgrim

But what would the inhabitants put on my headstone?

.

So how can a traveler earn a good name

When going on a long awaited expedition?

My traveling advice is simple yet hard

Check your behavior and not your intention.

My traveling kids…I wonder what they are thinking….Picture taken at the Badlands National Park, SD.

This week, Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #238 – Vagabond has a new twist! He has introduced the Thesaurus Game rules, where instead of using the actual word prompt, you use a synonym of that word. Well, I went a little overboard with the synonyms (what can I say, I’m a competitive over-achiever deep down inside!) and I might have snuck in a little bit of social commentary in there (not quite against the rules, but toeing the line), but I did have fun writing this poem!

I love word play – whether it’s a game with words, like Scrabble or Bananagrams, or puns or any other wittiness that involves words. Growing up, I had an old Pringles can that I covered with white paper. Anytime I learned a new word, I would write it on that can. I had a dictionary and thesaurus by the can and would try to use the new word or a synonym or antonym at least seven times before I could check it off and claim it as “Mine”.

My love of words lead me to wanting my kids to also have a love of words. To make sure they had good vocabulary, I never talked to them in baby talk. I read to them when they were still in the womb. I explained and defined words for them. I made sure to pronounce words clearly and concisely. I think my efforts lead to having very articulate children – which has it’s positives and negatives. While my kids all love to talk, I have one who reads a lot but struggles with spelling and vocabulary and one who doesn’t want to read or write at all (despite being able to). This boggles my mind as these are the things I love!

I also wanted to make sure my kids had a chance to travel and really wanted to instill in them a love of travel. The picture above is from our cross-country trip four years ago. It’s one of my favorite memories of all time. The excitement of traveling made the trip easy. We didn’t use any electronics during the drive; instead, we relied on “old fashioned” games like I Spy, Car Bingo and of course, Looking Out the Window.

Driving across the United States, I was amazed at how the landscape changed from arid deserts to tree topped mountains, from boring straight line roads to stomach churning curvy roads. I loved the wide open spaces and imagined how it would have been to experience these places before an interstate highway and concrete cities were built. These thoughts lead to the heartache of accepting the fact that Native Americans were forced off the lands that we were traveling through. While I can enjoy the view of these majestic landscapes, Native Americans might feel differently, acknowledging the trauma and loss they suffered so we can travel in comfort.

The United States of America is a land of contradictions – it stands for the highest ideals of what people can accomplish yet cowers to protect and hide the basest behaviors perpetrated by these same people. Can I love the physical beauty of it’s landscape while also mourning the cost of being able to experience that beauty? Can I advocate for Black lives while still supporting police officers? Can I experience racist micro-aggressions yet still wish my neighbor a good morning? As a traveler, an immigrant to this country, I would like to answer with a hopeful, “Yes”.

©️ 2020 iido

25 thoughts on “Traveler – A Thesaurus Game Poem

  1. Love your poem, that first para resonates deeply! And your kids are so blessed to have that training with words and reading πŸ™‚

    I was an avid reader but a form of dyslexia means spelling names and numbers are tough for me. Verbally I have a huge vocab but when writing I’ll choose a simpler word purely coz I can spell it!

    That last para, we need to set the example we wish others would show …

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad this resonated with you! I didn’t realize there was a form of dyslexia like that. I may have to look into that for my daughter. Although as she says, there is spellcheck so she isn’t too worried about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bravo Irma… you did rise above the challenge…there is so much to take from here..and i could imagine how lucky your kids are to have a mom whose love and skills for words is extraordinary..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have many explicit memories of road trips as a kid, but our family, we were many miles and many hours on the road. No doubt my father’s love of “going for a drive” had a lot do do with my own love for getting out there, seeing what there is to see. Six people in a car for hours and hours and miles and miles isn’t always easy, but my memories of it are fond and deeply grateful for them.

      The games we played — and you play with your children — they’re great for keeping everyone involved with the world passing by. They weren’t necessary for me, though… my nose was always pressed to the window. πŸ˜‰

      And, no, you can never use too many synonyms in a poem. Well…. you can, but I won’t tell on you if you ever do. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • My family was big on road trips as well. We never flew if it was within “driving distance” which, it seems, everything was. I was a window looker outer as well.

        Like

  3. Pingback: Winding ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #239 – Pix to Words

  4. Wonderful point Irma my dear, and a valuable lesson. I did a diversity, cultural, and inclusion training on LinkedIn last week with a similar theme. I was very moved and learned some new things to apply to my own life.

    PS I geek out on words to, it’s so much fun! 😁 πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

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