When Death Comes

      by Mary Oliver

[excerpt]

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.


Excerpted from “When Death Comes” from Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems, Boston: Beacon Press, 1993, page 10.