As the dawn rises, the gas lights go out,
There is soot on the glass, limiting the light
even in the dark of night.
The cast iron frames are worn, relics
of two centuries past,
filigreed and carefully cast, ancient artwork
that has survived a hundred and fifty years.
They are simple things, these lights.
A simple mechanism, east to repair,
easy to clean. And if the light they put out
is dim and flickering, that simplicity
is part of the reason they have survived.
The less there is to break,
the less they break. Not unlike people.
Not unlike yourself, when once broken,
became infinitely less complex, less complicated,
a simpler sort of man, growing stronger
with each weight shed. And here you are,
well worn, a light more dim, yet
more predictable, less likely to be blown out
in storms, not overwhelming in your brightness,
but quietly, there. Always, there.
About this poem.
More autobiography. I was forced into simplicity many many, years ago, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
The picture was taken in Rome.