Life Lanes

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Contributor: Sarah Pouls

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“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” – Robert Frost

I don’t understand how traffic is formed;
just drive the speed limit, merge like a zipper, get off at an exit.
Maintain the flow of the road without delaying others.
Red light. Green light. Slow down and merge right for emergency vehicles.
Or for me.

Keeping up with traffic – with others – is exhausting.
Stop. Go. Pause. Slam on my brakes. Turn here.
Oops, the GPS – I – made a mistake. Turn around.
Don’t turn around? Slow down for me.

I don’t turn around. I can’t turn around.
The monstrous wall of semi-trucks didn’t let me merge.
I had a set destination in mind,
but plans don’t always work out the way we want them to –
despite preparation and fear.

I keep driving; the dark pavement is
luring me further down a path I stumbled upon unwillingly.
The GPS yells at me to turn around,
but I am stuck in a new lane –
a new road.

I am now in the express lane, to the GPS’s disdain.
All other cars were able to exit while I was left behind, now lost.
Except up on the overpass are the replacements of landmarks I recognize –
Bertucci’s, Dominick’s, Zany Brainy, Blockbuster,
Once thriving, now replaced and thriving again.

The path I’m on which once seemed foreboding
now feels promising, filled with lessons from my past.
I think I can maneuver my way forward. Express lanes have no exits.
So although I glance back at my past, I know I need to keep accelerating –
moving forward on my new route.

Two roads diverged on the highway, and the road less traveled by
is sometimes forced upon us by semi-trucks.

Keep driving.

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Sarah Pouls is a high school English Teacher and freelance writer from Schaumburg, Illinois. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Written Communications and has a firm belief that all writing is based on forming connections through storytelling.


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