Sunday, May 6, 2012
GIVE TO THE LIVING
Editor's note: "Lots of awards are given to the living, but many others are tardy and come after it's too late for the recipient to read the inscription or smell the flowers," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.
It's easy to honor a fellow
When the organ is playing his song,
It's easy to ad up his merits
As the mourners go marching along.
Recalling the road he has traveled,
Overlooking where he has strayed,
Remembering what he's accomplished,
Forgiving mistakes he has made.
But why are we always so tardy
With credit, when credit is due?
When the fellow has earned our favor,
Why don't we follow it through?
Why not give him our plaudits
While he's still living, instead
Of sending flowers, and writing
A eulogy after he's dead?
He'll never enjoy his epitaph,
Or the stone it's written upon;
He'd rather have praise while he's living
Than a monument after he's gone.
--Autumn Acres (1982)