What Do You Fear? (A Poem)


            Are you kept up at night by thoughts of what’s to come

            in the uncertainty that follows death


            do you dread what may be

            when the veils that obscured our sight

            are taken off

            and everything is seen for what it is

            ourselves not least


            do you fear this?

            does it trouble you that maybe we’ll find

            we’re not the saints we thought ourselves to be


            that we frittered away our time


            do you think of annihilation?

            do you ponder what it means to be born

            to exist

            when for ages upon ages you were sightless, insensate


            while the warp of time spun on without you

            and the stars wheeled in their courses

            without your consent or involvement


            do you think of what’s to be

            when the grave takes us

            as it must

            what’s to come of us then

            where we’ll be

            what we’ll know


            in the lobby of heaven or the antechamber of hell

            what we’ll find to do


            or whether we’ll wink out of existence

            only to reappear some billions of years hence

            alive and refreshed

            after a long night’s sleep


            is it judgment that you fear, or annihilation:

            that death is the end, and there is nothing after death

            or that you were given life

            just for a second

            and made nothing of it?


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