"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."
-- Robert Frost
This poem is known for the last three lines - "Two roads diverged in a wood/And I took the one less traveled by/And that has made all the difference." - but this isn't the critical part of the poem. The part of the poem that defines it, the point in the poem at which it dramatically turns, is the highlighted portion above - "Oh, I kept the first for another day!/Yet, knowing how way leads to way/I doubted if I should ever come back."
The traveler had to make a decision. He stood at an intersection of two paths, and had to decide which direction to go. He looked down each path, considered them, and made his decision. He made a decision! He had to go somewhere. He couldn't stay there. So he decided.
He didn't know where it would take him, but he took the path less traveled. He wanted to keep the other path, to travel it, to see where that decision would take him, but he recognized something. Each decision leads to another, and another, and one never can go back to remake those past decisions.
There are costs to decisions. When one makes a decision, he closes the door on other possibilities. But it is impossible, as Frost points out, to not make a decision: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/And sorry I could not travel both". He had to decide, for to not decide is a decision in itself. But the direction of life is changed forever when a decision is made. There are costs and consequences of each decision. For Frost, "...[it] made all the difference".