THE first time I died, I walked my ways;
I followed the file of limping days.
I held me tall, with my head flung up,
But I dared not look on the new moon’s cup.
I dared not look on the sweet young rain,
And between my ribs was a gleaming pain.
The next time I died, they laid me deep.
They spoke worn words to hallow my sleep.
They tossed me petals, they wreathed me fern,
They weighted me down with a marble urn.
And I lie here warm, and I lie here dry,
And watch the worms slip by, slip by.
From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.