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The Program Not Taken

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by Jeffrey Ross
Freelance Poet

With special thanks to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken (1915).”

Two programs diverged in the advising office
And sorry I could not afford both
And be a scholar, long I stood in line
And looked at the assessment testing chaos
Where autumnal students languished in computer orchards;

Then enrolled in the other, and paid my fare
And knowing I would get a job
Because it gave me skills
Though I was mocked for studying there
The time took about the same…

And the first day of the semester darkly revealed
Developmental classes few would complete
Oh, I finished my welding program in ninety-six days
Knowing I would find work along the way
I doubted if I should ever come back [for philosophy]

I shall be telling this with glee
Profits in the future
When I am working and paying bills
I took the program less popular
And that made all the money…