Sunlight falls. It falls on our fingers if we hold out them out,
through our fingers if we happen to spread them. It falls from a great height
and for quite some time, coming down everywhere and expectedly.
We are used to it and are not surprised. It must be difficult being a star,
Way up there in everyone’s opinion. Even Michael Jordan has fallen.
The basketball world no longer revolves around him. Better
to be like water. When the clouds want nothing to do with it anyone,
it’s true water falls apart, into glossy, particulate beads,
but it always pulls itself back together again – into streams, etc.,
puddles. Good for water. Once, during a heavy rainstorm
when I was little, a tree I liked fell in my yard.
In just a few moments, it changed from being very tall
to very long- from a quality desirable in a basketball player
to a quality desirable in a life. This might not have been bad
for the tree if it hadn’t changed from being alive to being dead.
in the process. My dad chopped the trunk into pieces,
and I stacked them in a pile, which itself later rotted
Yeats was right to generalize: “things fall apart.” Chinua Achebe
was right when he changed the phrase into the novel, Things Fall Apart.
The falling was doubled – like a kid
picking up dry leaves and dropping them – and also made larger –
like a group people staring at an empty tree in Autumn
and feeling, one by one, their spirits drop.
Of course, there are preventative measures: pills,
fluorescent lights, happy hours, vacations. Some even work.
London Bridge was falling in the 1960s and was auctioned off
and moved to Arizona. A nice change of climate,
though the much older song
of its falling will always be on our lips.
Is it surprising that we still love to sing it?
We who fall down stairs, out of beds, right into things,
from power, from grace, in others’ eyes, into line, out of line,
off wagons, out of touch, and apart? We, I – same thing.
Nine months ago I fell in love. Two months ago, falling out of love,
it was difficult to fall asleep.
-- Matthew Yeager