It doesn’ttake much to remind me
what amayfly I am,
what asoap bubble floating over the children’s party.
Standingunder the bones of a dinosaur
in amuseum does the trick every time
orconfronting in a vitrine a rock from the moon.
Even theChurch of St. Anne will do,
astructure I just noticed in a magazine–
built in1722 of sandstone and limestone in the city of Cork.
And therealization that no one
who everbreasted the waters of time
hasfigured out a way to avoid dying
alwayspulls me up by the reins and settles me down
by aroadside, grateful for the sweet weeds
and themouthfuls of colorful wild flowers.
So manyreminders of my mortality
here,there, and elsewhere, visible at every hour,
prettymuch everything I can think of except you,
sign overthe door of this bar in Cocoa Beach
proclaimingthat it was established–
though established does not sound right– in1996.
Copyright Billy Collins ©2011. From Horoscopes for the Dead. Reprinted by permission of Random House.