Last Saturday, I was browsing my local Barnes and Noble and spotted Live Your Dash by Linda Ellis. The book opens with the poem "The Dash." I was so touched by the message of the poem that I haven't stopped thinking about it. It's amazing how so few words can say so much! After doing a little research, I discovered this poem has been around for years. I don't know how I missed it, but I'm sure glad this little poem finally found it's way into my life.
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
Linda Ellis copyright 1996
You can hear the author read the entire poem here.
For more poetry joy, head on over to Booktalking where Anastasia is hosting Poetry Friday. Don't forget to check out our Progressive Poem. Today's line comes from Tabitha at The Opposite of Indifference.