“Shingles,” New Era, Oct. 1986, 51


    The roofers let an old shingle fall

    in the ivy the other day.

    And I noticed it,

    for halfway up,

    its cedar red was weathered

    dull and gray.

    My chin on my knees, I studied where

    furrowed, mossy, and thin

    gave way of a sudden to fat, sappy wood,

    sheltered by

    the shingle’s twin.

    I wondered at how this same piece of wood

    had weathered these two separate ways.

    But because of another,

    beaten himself,

    one end had been spared

    rainy days.

    While the other end covered another in turn

    and another was covered by him.

    Without thought of themselves

    the shingles displayed

    the rule, whose gold

    has grown dim.