That was a fine image I got from a Brainpickings read. Tried it in today’s Poem A Day. Later I work on it to yield a much more fruitful metaphor.
Lost word is a supplementary image. Like the word that did not come when it should have.
The rope on the wooden staircases such as you still come across in old houses is a favorite. The grime on the rope from several hands holding represents the layers of people climbing up and down.
Layers of people gives me an interesting image. I will work on it later.