For all we know, our opportunity
To live comes once, as if we were a spark
That may remain in others’ memory
Awhile, but soon is destined to go dark
Unless in our brief residence we make
Some artifact or deed that will endure
Or, God forbid, some horrible mistake—
Though, best of all, would be to grow mature:
To realize potentialities
That bring new benefits into the world
That otherwise are moldering latencies,
Lost opportunities, a flag unfurled.
What is it, then, that you can make or do
That shows what goal you’re destined to pursue?