To My Survivors - Poem by Yen Cress
Before I give myself to Mother Earth
To cycle back to dust from whence I came,
I want to say a word about my birth,
Before the world forgets my humble name.
Suppose I'd never lived, had not been born,
Had never drawn that first, most fateful breath,
Nor waked to greet each day, morn after morn,
Had not remained, defying early death.
I wonder if it would have made a dent.
Would someone else be standing in my place?
Or would someone have struggled to invent
A clever way to fill the empty space?
Who would have struck the bells that I have rung?
Would some have cried because my laughter lay
Unlaughed and all my songs remained unsung?
Would silence hover where I am today?
Would piles of virgin paper vainly wait
For lines of mine that would have passed, unwrit?
Would someone find a way to compensate
For darkened lanterns that I would have lit?
Crouched in a dismal doorway, would there be
A lost, bedraggled soul I'd have made warm?
Would someone welcome the poor refugee
I would have rescued from the drenching storm?
What would this spinning, crazy world have done?
Would anyone have shed a lonely tear
Because I was not there to start some fun?
What would you all have done if I weren't here?
Don't send me flowers when I'm covered up
Or mourn my passing from this twirling ball.
Instead, raise to your lips a joyful cup
And toast the fact that I was born at all!
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