Punctuation and Breath (For Jeremy Taylor)

Lord take from thy Servants sad carefulness, and all distrust and give us onely such a proportion of temporal things, as may enable us with comfort to do our duty.
(Jeremy Taylor, The Golden Grove)

If, he suggested, we thought of each day
as being a day of business, we would
rise with the first light and kneel with our thanks
for the night of preservation now behind,
and with hope for the day still ahead.

Would we, perhaps, prepare then for each
small, terminal breath to be our next-to-last –
the bubble, the drop of life’s last hurrah
looming above our Damocles heads,
carrying with it this question: If not now, when?

Would we no longer count the pains of our days
as though keeping a score, a tally of woes
to signal the time for the season to end?
Or would we, perhaps, be content just to rise
and take what we needed, no more?

Would we rise to the garden, to the golden of groves
with each prayer a mustard seed or an acorn
and our wayfaring hearts thankful for each
breath that we take and the briefness of each,
punctuating the pause until we go home?

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