After Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken For things they did not tell us: “Life is our teacher, & our tears, sighs and sweats; the levies.” Mother told me that father was a good man & I should tread the path he led. & because she was my mother, saying no was a metaphor for calling myself unfilial. I echoed the songs of his footprints, hoping to reach the shore, but yonder was his footprints echoing some faded tunes that reeked of rusty bones. There the stamps on the sand became broad & heavy; my feet, swollen. I folded my hopes into a talisman, hung it on my suprasternal notch–to drag this broken body to the shore. Yesterday, mother called me a gentle man (like father's mother had done) & I smiled. I smiled, shrouding my cries & pangs under a fake face. I knew father, too, was a hostage like me for there were tears and sweats in the wake of his footprints & yet, he died. He died like a contused chameleon, shredded off of his color to look for another at the shore, but couldn't reach the shore. But because she's my mother, I couldn't teach her that we all had sketches of our destinations. For here, we grew up, we grew up to brook the path on which life put our feet. And the courses to our own shores were the roads not taken.
Arikewusola Abdul Awal writes from Oyo state. His poems have appeared on ila magazine, willi wash, Teen Lit journals, Literary Yard, The Yellow House, Eboquills, Afrihill Press, Spillwords magazine, Thirty Shades of Roses Anthology, Broken chunks of hearts, World Voice Magazine and elsewhere.
When he is not writing, he is found reading or watching movies.