Literature

THE ALTERNATE PATH

Tiptoed I have
On twisting, turning, twirling path
A single path nonetheless
Till I’ve reached where it forks into two.
 Both trails beckon me
“Welcome,” They say
“Come and tread on us.”
The first path uses a soft voice
“Look at  ulcerated soles of your feet
 Look at your broken, twisted ankles,
Don’t you feel you’re tired?
You do feel, I can see, the fatigue
Of a hundred life spans
Come and put your swollen feet on my bosom
It is velvet-soft, easy to walk on
You will get your long sought-after final repose
You will sleep forever.”
 The other trail uses a nettlesome tone
“I am but a path laden with thorns
I am uneven and unkempt
I am the one that has pits and pitfalls
No smooth sailing on my chest, O traveler
Mine is the path of the last phase of old age
 You can still walk on me for some more time
If you have the courage, Sir,
Come and join me in my difficult course.”
 A traveler I have always been
A wayfaring explorer of strenuous paths
Never have I shied away from jaunts or junkets
Each journey for me is a pilgrimage
The more tiresome, more welcome it is
See I should what’s in store for me
My last safari – let me see how long or arduous it is!
Let me choose and follow the second course.
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