I used to believe in immortality.
Oh, I’ve always known
that we all die, but never really ,
truly came to own
that concept as reality.
Though, of course, I thought I did,
wise, immortal child that I was.
I know now that I hid
behind the nescience of a guarded life.
So blessed, so loved and whole.
Whatever tiny trials that
perturbed my sheltered soul,
were small or distant enough
that my tender, reaching hands
barely brushed over agony.
And so now I stand
in fresh faith of two things to be true:
First, that I am still blessed.
All my current pains must surely be
not quite so heavy and distressed
as they appear, despite my inner certainty
that nothing could hurt quite so much.
And second, and more deeply, that
nothing is preserved from sorrow’s touch.
Reality has come to call for me.
And so I live in newfound fear
of the inevitable loss
of all those whom I hold dear.
Which can no more be prevented now
than in my blissful disregard
of the harsh truth of life’s transience.
So what I hope to guard
with this discovery is simply this:
Earth does not last, and no one here can stay,
so for my brief time in the sun, I’ll dance,
and cherish those I love here while I may.

– s. Clark