I'd rather not go this time, thank you.
I'd rather just stay behind, quietly minding
My own business, reading, studying, living.
Yes, the journey will change you.
It's quite an exciting ride, but once taken
The bruises need tending and too many things
Must be denied, forgotten, misplaced
Or risk the red-faced accusation, the horror
Of seeing one's own reflection in the face
Of a monster. No, I'd rather not go.
Thank you, I think this time I'll take
Another road, perhaps a road less travelled
Or better marked, so that I may avoid
Going barking mad like all the rest.
And when I've walked as far as feet will go
Perhaps it will all make sense. Perhaps
The alder will counsel me in the mad ways
Of men, or the oak shelter me, or willow
Whisper to me the secrets that define
Men's hearts. Apple shelters the mad, they say;
If so, I am well maintained. I think I'll stay.