One Traveler

Six hours got me from Texas to Arkansas–

six hours of just me and the open road,

indie music blaring,

breezes blasting through the open sunroof.

Six hours of driving seems like a lot, but really

I was just there.

Existing.

Existing.

Almost six months between moving back home and now,

six months of just me on the road of life–

lost.

No indie music, no breezes, just

silence.

And a calm blackened sky.

Existing.

We went hiking on Friday.

Leaves were above us on trees, beneath us

crunching under feet.

Being out in that forest, I remembered

how great poets of long ago would often

take walks in woods,

gathering inspiration like dry firewood.

I remembered the yellow wood Robert Frost

told with a sigh.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

and sorry I could not travel both . . .

the trees were on fire.

The only stripe of color in my life is that yellow wood,

those roads not taken that I’m just now starting to see.

Which one to take, perhaps having the better claim

which one to choose, because it [is] grassy

Should I look back a year, five years, ten years, twenty years from now

and sigh with the regret of choosing one over the other?

Will I regret my decision knowing that the other path

may have been something better,

something brighter

than this yellow wood?

I, I took the one less traveled by:

but will it make all the difference?

Will it make the best difference?

We started a campfire later that night.

Only had the twigs and sticks of the backyard

for fuel, for light, for the life of that fire.

It wasn’t long before it burnt out,

before we went back inside for food and warmth.

Embers among blackened ashes,

surrounded by the shadows of the night.

Something deep inside of me cried.

My passions are blackened ashes.

No embers.

How do you start a fire again that once

forever-burned?

Twigs and sticks, I guess:

but will those be enough?

The road back was

the road back to reality.

Back home

Back to work

Back to wondering what my life has become.

I miss those yellow woods,

yet they are a path all on their own.

Which one to take,

which one to choose,

which one to follow down until it bends in the undergrowth.

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