The Road Last Taken

I have met the soul walking upon my path.
~ Kahlil Gibran-

A penumbra enfolds the waning moon,
a child of time passes in shadowed hesitation,

shuffled movement upon a diverged byway,
worn by travel. Tired, the traveler stops, rests,

looks to the road passed, sighs, never to come
back its way— sufferance, resignation, acceptance.

Intrepid footfalls now more directed, the lonely
sojourn bends along the roadway’s pull, advance

unbroken by the twists of mortal choice.
The course aligns — no crossroads, loops,

or switchbacks. Breezes stiffen, the trodden
earth cools underfoot, faraway light is faint through

boughs of moss-draped oaks. A somber trek,
steadfast trudge — weary foot-strikes fall and lift,

lift and fall. Fixed on journey’s end, terminus lies
full ahead, beyond steamy troughs of quaggy bogs,

fallow gardens of forgotten blooms, brume and
shroud of stony lowland scarps. Dogged, the

traveler presses on, driven by a gallant heart,
companion to soul’s sorrow, in search of solace —

alone on the corridors of time. The way narrows,
guided by a distant glow, past tangled undergrowth,

funneled lowland swales, deep carved muddy rills,
the char and ash of ancient fires. Shadows thin —

dawn moves on the darkness — skies rise. Pulled
by the lightened sweep, cadence measured,

indomitable in passage, destination certain, the stalwart
pilgrim journeys forth . . . draws closer . . . ever closer . . .

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Man's last journey.