24 November 2006


The railing, with the vines tendriling at the ends,
Was old and black iron, paint peeling.
The bolt which held it to the mortar
Lay in a hole twice its size.
No one noticed it at the cement steps
With the brick columns.
It was just a railing—unobtrusive.

Until, leaning on it, I gave way
And fell as it released its hold,
And I sat in the leaves by the porch
And held a railing.

And so it is with things on which we lean.
Their usefulness
And simple beauty
Are not recognized
Until we fall.

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