I did something really brave last night. Really is a relative term. As is brave, I suppose. Perhaps I should amend and say, I did something really brave for me last night. But I don't think everyone could have done it. And I'm glad that I did, if only to prove that I can.
Maybe it was the fast moving clouds
or the spring flowers quivering among the dead leaves,
but I knew this was one day I was born to seize—
not just another card in the deck of the year,
but March 19th itself,
looking as clear and fresh as the ten of diamonds.
Living life to the fullest is the only way now,
I thought as I sat by a tall window
and tapped my pencil on the dome of a glass
To drain the cup of life to the dregs
was a piece of irresistible advice,
I averred as I checked someone's dates
in the Dictionary of National Biography
and later, as I scribbled a few words
on the back of a picture postcard.
Crashing through the iron gates of life
is what it is all about,
I decided as I lay down on the carpet,
locked my hands behind my head,
and considered how unique this day was
and how different I was from the men
of hari-kari for whom it is disgraceful
to end up lying on your back.
Better, they think, to be found facedown
in blood-soaked shirt
than to be discovered with lifeless eyes
fixed on the elegant teak ceiling above you,
and now I can almost hear the silence
of the temple bells and the lighter silence
of the birds hiding in the darkness of a hedge.