like a worn paper sack
Of assorted nails,
Its cuff grown soft with rolling
Sits in a corner and gathers dust
But bristles to pretend,
Emphatic, intellectual, ingrown:
As if a lump of nails made anyone a crown.
What have I known
Worth knowing, and not let slip?
What poor boards held unsquarely tacked?
No stonework or cement, only nails
Already squealing, prized
Stuttering out, the rough boards stacked,
The bent steel littering the site
Too cheap for straightening.