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Fork in the Road

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The sign points left for easier and right for experienced.
I ask you what way we should go.
I feel a gentle tug as you begin moving away.
I follow, not wanting to be left alone at the crossroads.
You’re callused hand presses against my palm
as our fingers alternate with one another.
.
We’ll release one another’s hand,
a few moments pass
and then, your hand grazes mine, my fingers separate,
and there’s just enough room for yours to fit between;
it’s like puzzle pieces fitting perfectly together.
.
We don’t need to focus on where we’re going,
the planned path will eventually lead us back to the car.
No hills, no sharp turns, no fallen trees obstruct our course.
.
Eventually, you stop at a post, and release my hand,
your finger now traces the green, squiggly line that maps our trail,
and it stops just inches from our car. You tell me we’re almost there.
But I don’t care where we are.
It doesn’t matter because we’re together.

It matters to you though;
You need to see where we end up,
you need to plan our route turn by turn
you can’t just let us pull one another in the direction that feels right.
Time matters to you.

We would have had more if we’d taken the different path,
I tell myself next time we’ll choose the right way
but when it comes down to it,
you want to keep yourself safe—
from problems, from hurt, from pain.

I tell you I won’t let those things happen to you,
not alone at least, I tell you I’ll be there.
But to you that’s just too much.
But still, despite your words
I let myself foolishly believe that
we’ll take another walk together and follow the other path.

But you tell me no.
You can’t do that. You say it’s not going to work,
let’s just take the easy way
and be friends.





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