Antony Mair

Two Roads
After Robert Frost

The wood was not so much yellow, more
a colourchart of golds and browns, with leaves
twisting in the cooler air. But yes, the roads diverged.

This is our way, my father said, striding on.
I followed him. We came to streets where houses
were lines of regimented guards with lifeless eyes.

Nature became a garden with new-mown stripes,
espaliered apple trees, pruned roses and
wisteria draping bunches of purple scent.

After his death, I went back to where we’d walked.
It was Spring, and branches were unfurling
small green fans. Blackbirds sang a hidden song.

The road was newly-surfaced, barred to cars,
and furnished with signs and litter-bins.
No sign, however, when the fork appeared.

The other road was narrower. I followed
its twists and turns, under overhanging boughs.
A squirrel paused to watch, tail poised.

I came to a village with small cottages
huddled round a pub, where you
were sitting at the bar, as if waiting

for my arrival. Looking back, we call it chance
but instinct drew me to the road not taken
and that made all the difference.

This is Antony’s fourth poem in Acumen. He lived in France for seven years and now is the Stanza Representative for the Poetry Society.