“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,
the shingle’s twin.
I wondered at how this same piece of wood
had weathered these two separate ways.
But because of another,
one end had been spared
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.