The Voice Issue 29: May/June 2017 - Page 21

21

Separate Ways

We have walked along the same path our entire life.

It's always been straight with no twists or turns.

Never once have we had to choose which way to go;

there was never another way.

Then the day came:

A fork in the road.

One veers left into the forest,

while the other bears right leading to a city.

We look at each other, unsure of what to do.

Thinking we always know how to stay together, we nod and begin to walk.

I walk toward the right and my hand is yanked back.

I look over my shoulder and realize that my companion is pulling toward the

woods, not the city.

There is a sudden lurch in my heart.

We do not want to walk the same path.

I yearn to go to the bright lights and bustle of the city,

while my friend wants to stay in the calmness and security of the forest.

We debate for hours, but to no avail.

Our original wants have not shifted.

Woefully we begin to walk toward our opposite paths.

I look back, considering turning back,

but a force pushes me forward.

I walk along until I come to a metal bridge.

I cross and begin my new life.

It is one with cocktail parties and skyscrapers.

I am utterly happy; the memories of the past have faded from my mind.

Then, one day as I drive across the bridge I walked on when I first entered

the city,

I see the forest.

Thoughts of regrets come to the surface.

I begin to wonder and ask myself,

what would have happened

if I had chosen differently?.

Who would I be?

Would I have the same regrets I am having now?

Would my past friendship have lasted?

There are so many unanswered questions I have.

Perhaps that's how it is.

Either path you choose, you have regrets.

You have questions that cannot be answered.

There is the indifferent comment, if I had only...

If I had only what?

I am not unsatisfied, but I am not satisfied at the same time.

Is that possible?

I am not sure.

I suppose everyone has these thoughts,

for there is always the path not taken and the wondering

about what your life would have been like

if you had made a different choice.

- dreamincolor, Montpelier, VT

Clara Arocas, Essex Jct., VT, Kevin Huang, Burlington, VT