Poem: The Frail Grace of Becoming

historic prservation

The Frail Grace of Becoming

Behind the curtain, you see the mess,
the work in progress, the stuff
that is not part of the tour,
that carefully curated  walkthrough
that you get for the half hour of your time
dedicated to this place before moving to the next.

No, this is what you see when you go behind the scenes,
past the closed doors and curtains,
when you take the time to linger and speak and listen
to the curator, that person who knows
and loves and fears for the destruction of this fragile work,
who trusts you only slowly
not to break or steal or worse, laugh
at the unfinished work, who trusts you not to mistake
the chaos of reclamation for the finished room,
for the frail grace of becoming.

About this poem

A thank you note to all those who have shown me grace along my journey.

My daughter is a historic preservationist.

The picture was taken at the Vanderbilt Mansion near Hyde Park, NY.



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