To The Young Who Want to Die by Gwendolyn Brooks
Sit down. Inhale. Exhale.
The gun will wait. The lake will wait.
The tall gall in the small seductive vial
will wait will wait:
will wait a week: will wait through April.
You do not have to die this certain day.
Death will abide, will pamper your postponement.
I assure you death will wait. Death has
a lot of time. Death can
attend to you tomorrow. Or next week. Death is
just down the street; is most obliging neighbor;
can meet you any moment.
You need not die today.
Stay here—through pout or pain or peskyness.
Stay here. See what the news is going to be tomorrow.
Graves grow no green that you can use.
Remember, green’s your color. You are Spring.
I have a deep and abiding love for Gwendolyn Brooks and her poetry. So much of her work reads like prayer, and nowhere is this more evident than in the line You need not die today. Sometimes, I feel like life kicks us so squarely in the face that it would be easier to lie down and die. And it would be. Death is patient and eager to those who would embrace its precepts. But life…life has so much to offer us. And so we go back to Brooks: You need not die today. You need not die today. You need not die today. You need not die today. You need not die today. You need not die today. You need not die today.
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