The Long Way

I have spent my life taking the long way around.
The road is paved and right before me, and off I go, to the side,
into the dense wilderness.

There is a lake, and a boat, and a boatman, who says he will take me across.
I say, “Keep your boat.” and plunge into the water, begin to swim
and I nearly drown; I make it to the other side, but only by luck.

There is a canyon, and a bridge, and the toll man says I need not pay.
But I say, “No, keep your bridge.” and I begin the long trek down, and almost
die trying to climb back up; I don’t die, my hands rise and grip upon the other side,
but, only by luck.

I must get to the top of the mountain. A Sherpa says she will take me,
for she knows the safe paths, but I say
“Keep your safety.” and start to step,

up, up, up; I nearly freeze, I am nearly crushed by falling rocks,
nearly slip and plummet to my death, get lost, but somehow

I make it. But only by luck.

My luck must be wearing thin, but still I keep taking the long way around.
Still I keep drinking poison, leaving love, staggering along lands
no human should ever place foot upon.

Yet as I cross each boundary, my heart, she leaps.
For I make my own choices, and never did anything that did not let me ache.
Never did I anything, just because others did say.

Those are my gods. Gods without mercy. And gods with too much.

I take the long way.

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