What the just-born have learned:
how to breathe. How to
sleep and wake. How to be terrified
and then be loved. Hunger,
cold, how to cry for all apparent
and invisible reasons and
have no regrets for being alive.
What the just-deceased have learned:
how to fall asleep and stop
breathing. How to be loved,
terrified; how to surrender hunger
as they cool. How crying works;
how regrets do not.
Somewhere in between,
some days closer to one,
some days the other, you will find
the rest of us, grading on the curve
or praying for pass-fail. You will find us
hoping for an incomplete, a make-up,
extra credit. You will find us as we
rarely find ourselves:
working too damn hard.