The poem is composed of a series of four questions, each of which personifies an everyday object—two of them natural, two man-made—in order to explore the nature of reality. The first question considers the metaphysics and aesthetics of a rose. The second creates a potent paradox in relation to tree roots to that can be interpreted in various ways–political, spiritual, and social. The third personifies a car to address the complexities of ethics. The fourth also personifies a mode of transportation, a train, to consider the pathos of uselessness.