I think I would not be
by Ina D. Coolbrith
A stately tree,
Broad-boughed, with haughty crest that seeks the sky;
Too many sorrows lie
In years, too much of bitter for the sweet.
Frost-bite, and blast, and heat,
Blind drought, cool rains, must all grow wearisome,
Ere one could put away
Their leafy garb for aye,
And let death come.
Rather this wayside flower!
To live its happy hour
Of balmy air, of sunshine, and of dew.
A sinless face held upward to the blue,
A bird-song sung to it,
A butterfly to flit
On dazzling wings above it, hither, thither-
A sweet surprise of life-and then exhale
A little fragrant soul on the soft gale,
To float-ah, whither!