Signs of Life

Signs of Life
by Amy Li

The signs of life,
Go, Left, Right, Split, Stop,
Windy Road, Uphill, Detour, End.
When you were little,
all you saw was a “Go” sign:
just keep walking, walking, and walking
marching forward.

When you were in high school,
all you saw was a “Split” sign:
Which path should you go down?
What school should you attend?
What major should you choose?
What city should you go to?
Should you stay close to home?
Or should you run as fast as you can
away from your protective parents?

When you were in college.
All you saw was a “Stop” and party sign:
Hey, Life is a party of young men and women–
sexy, fun, smart, quirky, or dirty, ugly, intrusive,
you may not have enjoyed it, but felt the obligation to join the party
or you were simply loving the life,
and partied like there was no tomorrow.

When you were close to graduation,
All you saw was a “Windy Road” sign:
Will you get lucky and find a job?
Will you find your dream job?
Will you have a good boss?
Will your coworkers like you?

When you started working,
all you saw was an “Uphill” sign:
How can you climb the corporate ladder
without hurting the others?
How do you stand out from
the rest of the crowd?

And then one day
you heard the word “cancer”,
all you saw was a “Detour” sign:
or maybe an “End” sign–
all your education
all your professional experience
that award you won
that certificate on your bookshelf
everything flew out of the window
all you could think about was how
you could hang on and still
enjoy the beauty in this life.
Life is too short and you were secretly hoping
it would be just a “Detour” sign,
not an “End” sign.

Photo by Kevin Noble, our Photographer of the Month

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Post Author: StageIV

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