Just the word “undiscovered” sets her ears on end.
By the time she hears “unknown” her shoes are already on.
She knows—she knows!—it’s a lie.
There are no “undiscovered places,”
the world has all been found.
Yet she can’t help but crave the edges of things:
Borders, limits, heights and depths.
She is the wanderer, the gypsy, the waif;
A vagabond’s heart beats in her chest.
When she shoulders her bag and sets off on her path, she runs not from ill-tidings, but from the familiar and known.
Walls can’t keep her—their windows mock her spirit—
For when she sees the sky, she won’t rest until she has flown through it.
She is the wanderer who laughs from the corners of books.
Her anklets make music; her hips are art as she walks.
She is the woman with the dark hood and clear eyes, whose long flowing scarves are her only disguise.
She may cause trouble with the risks that she dares, but she knows neither regret nor shameful despair.
She smiles when she smiles, she cares when she cares.
Maps these days are too precise for her taste; she would rather the mystery of uncharted space.
And since the world cannot quite sate her drifting soul, the wanderer craves movement in all that she does.
She dances and spins, hikes to high mountain tops, walks straight across cities and swims to distant docks.
And she travels inside, for where else is there to go?
All the dragons have moved within; all the wildness runs in her mind.
There she discovers, as the explorers of old, something more precious than silver or gold.
She finds her purpose, and identity.
Just like them, she exists to be free.
For she is the wanderer, the gypsy, the waif.
The world may be discovered and the maps all filled in, but the mysteries within still doubtless remain.
As her feet carry her body through rain,
heat and wind, she begins to map that uncharted terrain.
She is the wanderer, the gypsy, the waif.
She has always craved the undiscovered, and she will seek it always.
It is the wanderer’s blood that runs through her veins.
Author: Toby Israel
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Courtesy of Aly Nicklas