I will not live with death

He is no companion for me-

His leering smirk

His threat to close the stops from all my vibrant loves.

Come when he must.

But until he comes,

Let him keep his distance from my wandering eyes and open ears.

I will not let him feast with me and be companion for my sleepless nights;

I will not let him pall the glory of the minute's bursting gift;

I will not let him blur the pinnacle whose topmost crag Is shrouded still in mist

Or slow the dreams that pace my eager mind.

Each moment of breath Is a moment of life

Cramm'd with all that life allows,-

A bit of each past joy and a flowing taste of each anticipated hope.

I will not be robbed of that

For fear that someone summoned him too soon for me.

I will not live with death

But when he comes

Let him only knock and quietly draw the shades

Upon eyes that did not search his coming.

© by J. Vance Eastridge