Choices in a Wood

Because my past is someone’s present, I wrote this:

Choices in a Wood

Two roads diverged in a wood –

this much is true, for all roads diverge

(even dead ends offer a choice: stop or set out on one’s own)

and the wood is metaphysical:

an existential crises,

the point at which we must choose A or B.


But not all woods are yellow;

some are dark indeed,

and we find ourselves beset by leopards and wolves

and other creatures of the night.

And yet the choice still faces us: left or right?


What draws us to the road less traveled?

Do we feel a common kinship

with the presumed outsiders going down before us?

What about the path is so alluring?

Do we ever stop to think

there’s a reason the path is less traveled?

After all, the old maps claimed “Here be Dragons”

and here has to be somewhere, right?

And why is there no signpost?

Both are traveled to some degree,

yet nobody’s returned to point the way?


Fifteen years ago I, too, found myself in a dark wood

contemplating the road less traveled.

I started down it, but turned around

with the junction still in sight.

I beg you: do not go down this road.

The pills and needles and knives

and drugs and guns and alcohol will

not lead to the destination you desire.


Consider me your signpost,

your Virgil guiding you back to the right path.

The wood may be dark,

the choice difficult,

the monsters very real.

And still, you are not alone.








May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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