This late in the year, daylight gradually becomes
more precious — what we may have overlooked
before, or not even noticed, can now assume
a kind of urgent beauty in our eyes.
Just so, those who have received a terminal prognosis
may begin to grow kinder, more willing to disregard
the former annoyances of life, to gaze at small things
longer, and with a renewed sense of appreciation.
Perhaps they never bothered to look up much,
but now find themselves noticing subtle changes
of light, the intriguing way clouds form and disperse,
the sensuous feel of the breeze streaming around
their face, their whole body — how seductive!
Issues in which a great deal of significance had formerly
been invested may now seem no longer so important.
Indeed, they may not matter any more at all.
Then it happens that the eye muscles lose their tension,
the pupils lose their ability to contract, they open wide,
begin to dilate, and the stare at last becomes fixed.
What was it after all, that human life now fading fast —
an eyeblink, a quick inhale/exhale, a restless dream?
Maybe some would like to try it once again, return
for another round, but this time, pay attention.
It’s so easy to get swept away by things that don’t
really matter. The art is in discovering what does.