How Way Leads On To Way
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
(Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken)
Knowing how way leads on to way,
lane to avenue, boreen to boulevard,
It is unlikely I will get to go back, take a different path,
resolve the what-ifs and might-have-beens of my life.
As history can not unwage a war or revive the dead,
knowing how Appel Quay led to Latin Bridge,
to Franz Joseph Street and Gavrilo Princip’s gun;
knowing how Houston Street led to Elm,
to Texas Book Depository and Dealey Plaza.
Knowing how the ways from school and college
to wedding aisle and pension seemed as inexorable
as the one-direction creeping of the hands of a clock
or the streams that gravitate to rivers and the sea,
the fragile coincidences that bring us together
or keep us apart and the strokes of fate that steer us
to suburban comfort or destitution dispel the illusion
that we possess an outside, let alone the inside track.
We bend our destinies as far as they will yield,
uncertain to the end, knowing or not knowing
how way leads on to way.
Michael Durack lives in County Tipperary, Ireland. His work features in journals such as The Blue Nib, The Honest Ulsterman, and Poetry Ireland Review. Publications include two poetry collections, Where It Began (2017) and Flip Sides (2020) from Revival Press.