Dear Robert Frost,

Two roads and one sheltered seven-year old with an unimaginable decision to be made.  Can he really be expected to make a life-changing choice based on a few pictures and stories told by the only ‘parents’ he knew?

Reading your poem, “The Road Not Taken”, took me back to seven years ago when my life was at a turning point.  I was living in Taipei City, Taiwan, in a government-run orphanage where daily life was scheduled and methodical without any regards to what the monotony would ingrain in the minds of kids like me. I had no choices to make on my own.

My visions of having a real family were influenced by watching students at school being taken to class by their moms and dads.  I listened to them talk casually about their lives together and wanted to be in their shoes.   The small hope I clung to was in pictures my caregivers shared with me of an unknown couple who were anxiously weeding through the long adoption process to make me their son.  At least that’s what I was told, but it seemed as far away as the moon and back.

Leaving the orphanage was a rare occurrence. I was excited to take a ride on a train, however I didn’t recognize the building we visited.  The big, embellished doors and elaborate red symbols on the walls told me it was something significant.   Unfamiliar words and phrases were exchanged between the adults as I was taken behind those elaborate doors.   Although time seemed to be in slow motion, my heartbeat was doing double-time.  When prompted though, I courageously responded to the judge, “I want to go to America!”

As I read your poem, I relived my feelings of having a choice that was split down two roads. I “Iooked down one as far as I could” and tried to envision the family I craved, even with a new country, new language, and new culture.  Yet, I also had a need for what I knew was familiar down the other road.

​Mr. Frost, I wonder if you realized the impact your poem would have on someone like me.  It has heightened my memories of a critical choice to take the road less traveled.  “And that has made all the difference”.


Caleb Lloyd, Grade 7

Letters About Literature Texas 2018 Winners page

Page last modified: March 22, 2018