By: Matthew M. Ployhart

The Trail is Always There

The two men stood facing
The winding trail before them.
They stared quite intently,
Trying to focus their gaze upon
Any part of the path,
Wanting to decode its mystery.
The trail is always there,
Both the young and the old man knew this.

“Why do you not go on?”
The elder asks the youth
In a tone of kindness.
“I know not where the trail leads, kind sir.
There lingers leaves and trees
Along the path that shelters the view.”
“The trail is always there.”
The elderly man assures the young.

“Why not walk it someday?”
The young man stared at the vines and twigs
Scattered on the pathway.
“I will become injured, or ensnared
If I go down the trail.”
The youth glanced with hope at the elder.
“The trail is always there,
And you will get hurt if you walk it.”

“Then why should I go?”
“People have suffered on the hard trail,
But why would you stay here
When you could walk a little further?”
“Should I run?” The young man
Was afraid of the sharp thorns.
“The trail is always there,
There is no point in going too fast.”

“Would it be wise to crawl?”
“No, you want to make it all the way,”
The elderly man spoke.
“Do not run or crawl, but look around.”
“I’m afraid,” cries the youth.
“I was once afraid, and now I’m glad.
The trail is always there,
Walk upon it with wonder and awe.”


Matthew M. Ployhart is seventeen years old and lives in Chapin, South Carolina, USA. He says he writes best very late at night and by candlighting, and that his favorite subject is history. He also loves to annoy his family with fun facts about science and history each and every day.