Get On With It

The little Puerto Rican girl said
How many years do you have?
She meant how old are you? but
her wooden way of posing that
common question was a doozy.
What my mind’s ear heard was
How many years do you have left?
Christ, life wears us out, I thought.
Then a sharp pang for the unlived life.
Life’s too short to drink bad wine or
write be-good poems or never sleep
beneath the evening stars (which for
a card carrying claustrophobe are
the most soothing objects).
How many years do we have left?
God only knows and he’s not telling.
So mount up and get on with it.
Don’t dither away the difficult splendor.

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  1. Teresa Evangeline on September 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    OH, this is gorgeously written. Your last line is magnificent!

  2. Rich on September 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Indeed! My jaw literally (yes, literally!) dropped at that last line. Six life changing words. You are The Light Bearer!

    • thebeautifuldue on September 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Rich, I keep repeating that last line to myself…almost a mantra. Thanks, bro.

  3. fotomama986 on September 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    thank you. and that little girl too 🙂

  4. Amy K. Sorrells on September 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    …difficult splendor…yep…

    • thebeautifuldue on September 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks, Amy. This week has been heavy on the difficult and shy on the splendor…

  5. Ali on September 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Oh John, these words are timely and wise. Do you mind if I print a copy, stick it behind the front door, and read it again each time I leave the house? (You don’t have to answer – I’m going to do it anyway! – because these words are valuable, so valuable.)

    Kindest regards from the Alps

    • thebeautifuldue on September 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you very much, Ali. My answer to your question would have been ‘by all means, yes!’ but I’m glad you went ahead and didn’t wait for me.

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