My way or the highway

Looking back
from the high vantage point
of old age
the road you took,
whether more or
less travelled,
seems like a highway
carrying you straight
from birth to,
well, to the opposite
of birth.
But if you examine
the route carefully,
magnifying glass to old eye,
you see the fractal pattern
of blind alleys, wrong turns,
steep hills, sloughs of
despond.
There are roads
interrupted by repairs,
muddy tracks washed away
by storms, short cuts that
ended in fallen bridges,
detours that actually
went nowhere.
Lifting your eye
from the map, memories
of incidents and accidents,
signs and portents,
good and bad directions,
come to mind.
All in all you wonder
how you ever found your way
from there to here.

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