“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.”
At seven years of age, my grandson
could recite the whole thing.
It’s National Poetry Month, he told me.

The world of rhythm and rhyme
seems to be full of zing right now.

Amanda, you lit a fire.

You’ve inspired a new generation
to venture deep into the woods,
to take the road less traveled
and to be forever changed by it.

Your words, they spoke to something
deep within our country’s wounded soul
and showed our youth the power
of the dream and the opportunity
to be the change that needs to be.

For too long, we’ve wandered
that well-trodden trail, and taken in
that solitary view,
the one that skewed towards a world
where people slipped from sight
because we were blinded
and didn’t see all that
wasn’t right.

But like that traveler from so long ago,
the one who peered down under
the bend in the overgrowth,
then chose the road less used,
as a people we now know
a little better than to accept
the view and the path
we’ve been told to follow.

Your enthusiasm, your passions,
your love of words, was heard
by a nation. Not only have you
illuminated the dark recesses,
where racism shadowed our hearts,
you’ve turned our eyes to a new horizon
where hope and history rhyme.

And last week, two roads diverged
in a yellow wood in a small boy’s mind,
and now that those words are in his head,
his soul will forever sing
with the knowledge
that he took the one less traveled
and will be forever changed by it.


Painting “Yellow Wood,” 2015, Anita Ann Johnson. Fine Art America