Borrowing Time

Mar 23, 2018

Today’s poem is "Borrowing Time" by David Moreau. He is the author of the poetry books You Can Still Go to Hell and Other Truths about Being a Helping Professional and Sex, Death and Baseball and has loved working with people with intellectual and physical disabilities for more than thirty years. He currently volunteers at Spindleworks in Brunswick and hosts the “You Say What You Want to Say and Everyone Listens", poetry group.

David writes about the poem, “Like most people, I’ve always been afraid when I think about death. But you can’t go through life without thinking about death, even if you try. I was probably lying in bed, one part of me saying, “Oh my God, I’m going to die!” and the rest of me scolding, “Why are you even thinking about it?” That is what we do in our country; pretend that death does not exist.

The phrase “I will not die tonight,” seemed comforting. Statistically it was true, most likely, on any given day….

Used as a refrain, it moves the poem along its journey where one day the opposite is true.”

Borrowing Time
by David Moreau

I will not die tonight.
I will lie in bed with
my wife beside me,
curled on the right
like an animal burrowing.
I will fit myself against her
and we will keep each other warm.

I will not die tonight.
My son who is seven
will not slide beneath the ice
like the boy on the news.
The divers will not have to look
for him in the cold water.
He will call, “Daddy, can I get up now?”
in the morning.

I will not die tonight.
I will balance the checkbook,
wash up the dishes
and sit in front of the TV
drinking one beer.

For the moment I hold a winning ticket.
It’s my turn to buy cold cuts
at the grocery store.
I fill my basket carefully.

For like the rain that comes now
to the roof and slides down the gutter
I am headed to the earth.
And like the others, all the lost
and all the lovers, I will follow
an old path not marked on any map.

Poem copyright © 2004 David Moreau.
Reprinted from Sex, Death, and Baseball
Moon Pie Press, 2004
by permission of David Moreau.