Two Path

Two paths lay before you.
One is wretched and ugly
and hair-pinned and hard
– but you knew that
before you even began.
Probably you know every word of this
without it being said
but rituals are what they are
so away we go
even if this is already
the thirty third time
you’ve experienced this speech.

On one road
you go ahead
fording forward, sallying forth.
Attack the unknown
unaware as you are
of all the dangers and temptations before you
dead ahead.
The night covers you,
pit-black and all that.
You’ve got not a clue what’s coming along the way
with the possible failure and the death
but maybe there’s everything you predicted
all the fears and crises of your nightmares
when you started this ridiculous trek
all those years ago.

The other way’s back.
The detour.
The admission of defeat.
The giving up the ghost
and returning
to take a breath
and consider the options.
It’s sensible.
It’s a pivot.
Discretion before valor
and logic in the face of absurd odds.
It’s sensible and will only take you a second
and I’ve already lost you,
haven’t I?

Onward it is.

It’s like there never really
was a choice at all
was there?

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