Memento Mori

By BILLY COLLINS

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.

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