Martin Robertson

Now and Then

A Prayer

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.