Even if you stop,
tripped up by feelings of resentment, regret, or curiosity
and cast your eyes in the rearview mirrors of time;
the roads do not slow down
and they never turn back.
They walk on, snaking through life, forwards, backwards, sideways
like a mirror trapped in a mirror, stretching out into eternity.
There are no second chances despite the images and scenarios
flashing before your mind’s eyes
reminding you of opportunities lost
along the path not taken.
Where could those other paths have led…
would they place you comfortably on your present journey
or find you craving one last stroll in the fast lane;
reminiscing on moments anchored in time;
lamenting those irrational fights that went unresolved;
recalling sweet, innocuous crushes that floundered;
regretting short-lived pursuits abandoned too soon
bemoaning ripe dreams still unfulfilled;
those trivial grudges that were stillborn yet survived into adulthood;
or that once-in- a-lifetime love found by accident
that should have blossomed but withered instead.
What treasures could life have dished out had you acquiesced,
heeded the unsolicited advice of others rather than listen to the voices inside your head.
What would have become of once robust ambitions felled by self-doubt;
or those humble prayers waylaid by impatience?
Might they have turned the keys to a happier time or become potholes?
And what of the many forks that once intersected the road along the way?
Have they simply vanished
or might they still lurk in the shadows awaiting resurrection?
do not wait.
They frown decisively on indecision.
And once gone, they stay gone;
even if you tire of the road you are on
and time gives you pause to ponder
the path not taken.