I know the shadow cast by the thing
is not equivalent to the thing itself
and that the sheen of some pearls
does not betray their hearts of paste—
But I have also been taken aside
for such lectures too often: how in my case,
to be forthright is seen as speaking
out of turn; to ask for my due, ingratitude.
After a lifetime and a half of service, the quality
of my speech and learning is still to be held
for further scrutiny: and there is always one more
Assessment before the Welcome or Enter sign.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.