Poems and Poetry

Choices | A Poem by Roy Pullam

Other paths
Would not have led
Me here
Some more attractive then
Than they appear now
Except for the bumps and bruises
Hardship and sacrifice
I would be at another place
I did not follow
My tribe in the mines
The bleakness
Of that fate
The source
Of my father’s admonition
The coal seam
Claiming the youth
Of generations
Of my kin
But I wanted more
Than the darkness
The choke of dust
That would coat my lungs
The bend of poverty
As a broken man
I sought the light
Of learning
A course
Strange to my people
A solitary walk
For me
Away from the companionship
Of classmates
Enjoying their temporary prosperity
Of cars and boats and homes
Luxuries I would have to defer
If at all
But now as sick old men
They no longer scoff
But question
Their own life course

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