Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996, by Martin Puryear.
At the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
From the moment you came into this world
A ladder was placed in front of you
That you might escape.
From earth you became plant,
From plant you became animal.
Afterwards you became a human being,
Endowed with knowledge, intellect, and faith.
Behold the body, born of dust –
How perfect it has become!
Why should you fear its end?
When were you ever made less by dying?
When you pass beyond this human form,
No doubt you will become an angel
And soar through the heavens.
- Jelaluddin Rumi,