At the Bend in the Road

by Jerry Ratch

I was at the bend in the road 

thinking of Robert Frost 

but there was no fork, 

there was no yellow wood, 

there wasn't even a horse 

to ask me why or what if 

There was no decision to be made 

just a thousand tourists from Prague 

like a herd of sheep following their leader  

with her red umbrella high in the air 

as if she were ready to take off 

like Mary Poppins to a destination 

unknown to man 

while the hands of the Astronomical Clock 

kept moving toward another hour 

with the bell-ringing skeleton 

and the puppets 

I went back in time 

to find my family's castle 

where they were the innkeepers of the past 

but it was no longer the hunting lodge 

of kings, just another tourist trap 

without beggars or peasants, 

or puppets like myself 

Maybe if the road had bent the other way 

or not at all 

I would have found it 

I would have found what I had come 

to look for