Now and Then
God, in whom I have no faith,
hear my unbelieving prayer:
not to play blind-man’s-buff with death.
Each year requires another year
to finish some new thing begun,
round off some ragged, trailing tail.
But always there’s another one
—that plea allowed could never fail
to carry a built-in reprieve,
a passport to eternity.
No, let me live as now, and leave
life as it’s been—disorderly,
half-finished, half-begun, hoped, dreamt,
tomorrow there behind today.
To get it ordered, rounded, kempt
would be to die before I die.