The Figure in the Doorway

grade surmounted, we were riding high Through level mountains nothing to the eye But scrub oak, scrub oak and the lack of earth That kept the oaks from getting any girth. But as through the monotony we ran, We came to where there was a living man. His great gaunt figure filled his cabin door, And had he fallen inward on the floor, He must have measured to the further wall. But we who passed were not to see him fall. The miles and miles he lived from anywhere Were evidently something he could bear. He stood unshaken, and if grim and gaunt, It was not necessarily from want. He had the oaks for heating and for light. He had a hen, he had a pig in sight. He had a well, he had the rain to catch. He had a ten by twenty garden patch. Nor did he lack for common entertainment. That I assume was what our passing train meant. He could look at us in our diner eating, And if so moved uncurl a hand in greeting.

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