The Turn Not Taken

You decided not to join the band
And so we never met.
At least that’s what you might think and yet
In fact we must have, so many times,
In corridors and classes passed, or
When you came to watch the band
It was me taking money on the door.

Perhaps life’s highway does not twist
And fork as much as it might.
We turned safely round the corner
That patch of ice was missed
We skied on into town, stopping for a drink
And so you did not take your first flight
Briefly looking down, oh no
Then crash upon the road below.
Our last skiing holiday, you might think.

You didn’t learn to fly, or write that book
Never spent our summers sailing in the Med
We didn’t wait to start a family
A baby girl called Tess
Scrimped and saved to see our daughter wed.
Were brave enough to have four sons
Twice the noise, the fun, the mess
The love, the challenges and the joys
Are just as great with our two boys.
One at college now and one just seventeen
The age I fell in love
Too young to get married, my friends said
And so I travelled the world instead.

And if we didn’t go to the USA
Or alternatively decided to stay,
What then?
Would we have found that place on the map
The town with the funny name
Found work, new schools, made friends.
Thirty years of roads less travelled, but
Here we are just the same
If I believed in fate, I’d have known
Every missed step and turn not taken
Would eventually bring us home.


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