Roadless by Elizabeth Maxey

Roadless

after Robert Frost

With all the gaps in the yellow wood
there could have been a thousand roads
or none—indeed, not one I could
feel sure of. All roads may be good
enough, but what of episodes
of stumbling through the brush?

. . . . . . .A self-made man can make a way
. . . . . . .through anything. It only makes
. . . . . . .sense. Those who wait for something stay
. . . . . . .as if submissive to the day
. . . . . . .because they do not know mistakes
. . . . . . .are always someone else’s.

But what if forward movement fails
to equal virtue? What, among
the trees, does “forward” mean? The trails
imagined by impatient males
may not be triumphs to be sung
by poets.

And aren’t the visions of the lake
and well-curb, though a doubtful gift,
some recompense for what it takes
to circle back in your own wake
and settle for another shift
in an uneasy place?

by Elizabeth Maxey

Editor’s Note: The rhyme scheme in this poem arrests the attention not so much with the parts that rhyme, but with the words that don’t, asking the reader to question easy perception with more difficult themes.

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