Light penetrates a canopy
Revealing a man deep in thought
Approaching a fork in the path.
His conscience divided,
He knew not which path to take.
One, a wild jungle trail, barely visible through the undergrowth,
The other, a calm well-worn road, the destination clear.
The man wanted both and was unsure
The first path beckoned, it offered adventure
Holding a certain allure.
The outcome uncertain, would he venture?
The second, a long path, one many had traveled before
Held a very different prize
And though it seemed somewhat of a bore
It was thought to be the decision of the wise.
The man’s passionate desire
Would have him favor fire.
And his internal reason
Would have him require
The man was being torn in two,
Both sides of his being fighting for control.
And the uncertainty only grew
For the battle was taking a toll
But either path standing alone would not equal two together,
For one path would ignite the flames and the other douse the ember.
There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution,
Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bones.
The wind swayed the canopy, the light shifted.
Only then did he realize
There was, in fact a third path
That had been in front of him all the while.
This one a worn dirt track
Meandering through the wood,
The end still out of sight,
but somewhat more clear.
As it turns out, the deception and turmoil
Was his own doing,
For he had fallen prey to his conscience
And while choosing his way,
The decision had been made
For he had already been walking,
Walking the only path that would bring him true happiness,
The path that was now
“Found” by Erik Rothenberger is a free verse poem that explores the mind’s struggle to find balance. A man walks through a wood tormented by the need to chose the “right path”, but in doing so he seems to be creating his own struggle as near the end of the poem we realize it was all in his mind as he had already started walking the third path of balance. The author appears to reference Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice”, describing how the man would initially want to take the risky, adventurous path but goes on to discover that either path without the influence of the other would create unbalance. It also seems to share the notion of a man walking through a wood with his poem “The Road Less Traveled”. Erik continues with what appears to be two quotes from “The Dead Poet’s Society”, “There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution…” and “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bones.” These both imply the need for balance and are the turning point for the man in the poem when “the light shifts” causing him to think in a new way. The poem touches on both the theme of finding balance as well as seeing with a different perspective.