You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.
But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?
You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
How often have you heard that admonition to live each day as if it were your last? More than once I’m guessing; certainly I have. It’s a kind of pay attention/wake up to your life piece of advice. Especially considering the day ahead of you – that obstacle race / of minutes and hours, / grocery stores and doctors. We all have our own obstacle race through the busy days that keep us focused ahead of ourselves.
But why the last? the poet asks – such an important question. Why not / live each day as if it were the first – / all raw astonishment ? The first day! I so love that question – the first day of your conscious life, an innocence never again to be felt. And how would you live it? Grinding the coffee, setting the table, glancing our the window / where dew has baptized every / living surface. Even the word baptized intimates an initiation into life. And every surface is living if we can look past our preconceptions.
So why not let yourself be astonished – live this day as if it were your first. You may be surprised, even a little, by how the world reveals itself to you.