In the tunnel, where dirt-filled skies veil light,
      I stooped all alone. My feet paused

to ponder the stale aura, with
      rights to wish for and judge which gate

to unshackle through: its whispers filled
      my forsaken marrow.

It was twinkling, outside where
      air of verdure thrived. It called—

it was a glimpse of hope
      like Iwo Jima’s flag. I stepped forward

although my legs shook, asking
      for a guide.

It was twinkling. In the resplendent fresh air.
      For in the tunnel, where dirt-filled skies veil light,

It beckoned. I didn’t see
      but knew it was gleaming there.

That one moment, Fate would sound
      —some quintillion fireworks at night—

& disengage the steel-laced
      wings of my heart. I didn’t know these skies

hid my path to it—the gravel,
      its signs.

So I left. So I arrived.
      Now my unknown future shapes

my walk.

Explanatory Note

Journey represents a clash of decisions stirred up in the author’s self. Each line of each stanza is a battle between the author’s desire to stay in the tunnel (first line of each stanza) vs. the desire to walk through the open skies (second line of each stanza). The differences in length of each line of each stanza conflict with each other, where the first or second line goes farther out than the other, signifying which side is currently winning the author’s internal war. The first two lines are similar in length because this is when the author first realizes he has come to a crossroad in his life. The second-to-last stanza has a longer second line, indicating that the author’s desire to walk outside is nearing a decision. The last stanza is only one-line, signifying resolution—the author has decided to step out of the tunnel.

Throughout Journey, “It” is used to describe the unknown presence calling out to the author to leave the tunnel, which has been a place of comfort, yet discomfort. Not until Line 17 does the author realize who “It” is—the author’s Fate—which is finally identifying itself through the blaring roar of “some quintillion fireworks at night.” At this moment, the author realizes that he is meant to take the road that is more uncertain and challenging, yet more fulfilling.

The Journey that we all take as individuals, with many important choices to make, has prompted me to write this poem. This speaks to important decisions, such as choosing a career path, fighting for what we believe in, navigating through relationships, and following our dreams with relentless passion. Through reflections of my own experiences, I’ve found that it is usually more rewarding walking into uncertain, open skies rather than a certain path that is shrouded by the unfulfilling certainty of the tunnels.