If “Death’s the only deadline worth respect,”
And death is coming sooner now than when
I wrote that line, it’s time to recollect
What I’ve now done, especially with my pen.
Of all the prose and verse I’ve ever made,
Stacked thick in binders, organized in sheaves,
Does any of it earn a passing grade
And that respect the best of art achieves?
Or should I just not care? Posterity
Will do its fickle thing, and some will win
The winnowing and earn eternity,
While most return to dust where all begin.
Why not instead just seize the present time:
Be happy as this rhythm meets this rhyme?