Up at the Palace they’re hard at work
unearthing aged stakes, so I mourn.
They are not the same thing, you know,
the low wood fence and the high metal
The unyielding spike, ungentled
by the years, an alien still.
One of a hard garrison
imposed on the old green world.
A declaration in steel
of expected infractions,
prophecy of careless contempt.
Here no child will climb or lean, or know
the grace of a lichened decay
or first reach with shaking hand
to a half-known half-knowing creature.
At this monument to vanished trust
no lessons can be learned of lightness
and harmony; of humility
before the reclaiming years.