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  • Martin Wardley

The ladder

The ladder leaning lonely

‘Gainst the whitewashed wall

Leads purposefully to nowhere

Nowhere at all


Like a solitary elder statesman

Thoughtful in his dotage

Steadfast, strong, and upright

And carefully supported

But what before this tool of work

Became mere decoration?

What stories and what tales to tell

Of toil and pride and indignation?

If only he or she could tell

I know not even gender

Whisper now your life-long yarn

And secrets to me render

What feet have stepped upon your rungs

And what were their travails

What scenes did then their eyes behold

Share summary and details

So thus, deep into sleepless night

All drama was regaled

Of service, support, and servitude

And entertained ‘til night met day

I laughed and shed a tear or two

At every revelation

But discretion sensors sharing

With no further explanation


The ladder leaning lonely

‘Gainst the whitewashed wall

Leads purposefully to nowhere

A lesson surely for us all



5th Jan 2022

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