And when that final dismissal bell rings

two roads diverge at The Wood1

and I

take the one less traveled by

an ending and beginning all at once

and hope I am able to make

more of a difference

to others

by being truer

and more grounded

to my heart

while becoming untethered

to the impossibly lofty and ever-elusive

(and unattainable, really,)

ideals of

higher test scores and

fiscally responsible but

continually changing

acceptable retirement age

1 fond staff nickname for Wedgewood MS.

Many thanks to Robert Frost for liberal and perhaps slightly convoluted use of the beautiful framework of this first poem I fully memorized and successfully recited on one of Mrs. Frere’s Friday poetry recitations in 8th grade language arts, circa 1985.