Intimations of Mortality
on being told by
the dentist that this will be over soon
Indeed, it will soon be over, I shall be done
With the querulous drill,
the forceps, the clove-smelling cotton.
I can go forth into fresher air, into sun,
This narrow anguish forgotten.
In twenty minutes or forty or half an hour,
I shall be easy, and proud of my hard-got gold,
But your apple
of comfort is eaten by worms, and sour.
Your consolation is cold.
This will not last, and the day will be pleasant
Ill dine tonight with a witty and favorite friend.
No doubt tomorrow I shall rinse my mouth with laughter.
And also that will end.
The handful of time that I am charily granted
Will likewise pass, to oblivion duly
Summer will blossom and autumn be faintly enchanted.
Then time for the grave, or the dentist.
you are shrewd, my man, and your hand is clever,
You must not believe your words have a charm to spell me.
never a half of an hour that lasted forever.
Be quiet. You need not tell me.