Either, Or

He stood on the edge of two worlds

Contemplating his life

As he floated along between

Yesterday and tomorrow

A clock ticked loudly reminding him

That time does not stop

No matter how important the moment

He wished he would have

Paid less attention to the clock

Time to go to work

Time to go to a meeting

Time to go to church

Time to go



A railroad crossing sign

Painfully reminded him

Of opportunities he had let slip away

By being too cautious

At the crossroads of his life

He wished he had

Jumped on the train of uncertainty

At more of his crossroads

Instead of standing safely on the sidelines

A lamp post cast just enough light

To see his immediate surroundings

But not enough to see into the darkness

He wondered if the light

Was directly powered by the energy

He had put into living his life

What might have been the result

If he had displayed more passion

Embraced more risk

Laughed more

Loved more

Would the lamp be shining brighter

If he had spent less time

Worrying about the future

More time living in the moment

His eyes fell on the luggage by his feet

He had bought it years ago

When he had made a list

Of places he would go

Only a few destination stickers

Had been obtained before

His travel list

Had been replaced by

A weekly things to do list

He loved his family

And had led a good life

But all his youthful dreams

Had been sacrificed

For a simple routine

And a dutiful life

Why had he lived as “either, or”

Either he could be a family man

Or he could be a world traveler

Either he could be a businessman

Or he could be an artist

What if he had realized

He could take care of his family

And allow time for his dreams

Waves splashed around the raft

As the unseeable shoreline

Loomed closer in the darkness

He could see the simblance

Of a mountain in the distance

He could since a different world

Awaiting him in the afterglow

The waves got rougher and

One of the suitcases was knocked over

Unlatched it spilled out memories of

Packing to go to the hospital

For the birth of his first child

Packing for family vacations

For his 25th anniversary

For funerals, graduations, weddings

He got the sense that he was at

The most important crossroad

Of his existence

What to carry into eternity with him


The dreams yet unfulfilled


The memories of a lifetime

His heart raced as he felt the raft

Touch land and knew he had to decide

The clock was ticking louder

The lamp light was growing dimmer

The crossroads sign seemed to be fading

A decision was required


For the first time in his life

In the last moments of it

He made his best decision

He jumped off the security of the known

Onto the shoreline

Into the darkness of uncertainty

Carrying one suitcase filled with dreams

And the other filled with memories

No longer stuck in a state of “either,or”

Finally realizing

He could have so much more

E.A. Fussell


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