Happy 2018 – Day 299 – If you knew…

A good half-a-year back, I wrote about ‘loving like there’s no tomorrow’ and looking upon your friends, family and loved ones as if it were the last time you would see them; casting aside trivial arguments and every day doom and gloom and just taking them in, appreciating every part of who and what they are.

More than this, you can take this attitude into the way that you listen and speak to people; into your judgements or acceptance of them; your willingness to be patient; to forgive.

Yesterday, I came across a poem that echoed these sentiments in a beautiful, poignant way. Here it is:

If You Knew

Ellen Bass


What if you knew you’d be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line’s crease.

When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn’t signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won’t say Thank you, I don’t remember
they’re going to die.

A friend told me she’d been with her aunt.
They’d just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.

How close does the dragon’s spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?

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