ISSUE ONE: Trams Yell Yes! | next poem →

When Lost in the Woods

(from Scouting for Girls)

Lea Galanter

If you should miss your way
remember, you are not lost
the teepee is lost
it isn't serious
unless you do something foolish

Stand on a hill
climb a tree
seek a landmark
but be sure of this:
you are closer to camp than you think

Your friends will soon find you
help them by signaling
if you have a gun, fire it twice
then wait, and listen
do this several times
then wait, and listen

If this brings no help
send up a distress signal
make two smoke fires
at least fifty feet apart
so the wind does not confuse them

Two shots or two smokes means
"I am in trouble"
when your friends see this
they will send up one smoke
"Camp is here"
look for the smoke of that fire

Shout from time to time
then wait
though you be gone for hours
you are closer to your friends
than you think

The worst thing
is to be frightened
the true enemy is fear
it robs the wanderer of judgment
and turns a passing experience
into tragedy

Keep cool
make yourself comfortable
leave a record of your travels
help your friends to find you

Remember, keep cool
all will be well

Lea Galanter is a Seattle-area editor and writer. After playwrighting for many years, she ventured into writing poetry and has studied with several Seattle-area poets. She also has a background in theater, and has studied voice and performed onstage in Seattle. She is president of the board of DramaQueen, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting women playwrights.

ISSUE ONE: Trams Yell Yes! | next poem →

ISSUE ONE: Trams Yell Yes!

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