The saints had their reminders:
skulls on shelves, bones on bedside tables.
We have our tests and scans,
appointments ringed in diaries,
updates from frightened friends.
We would rather live in the Now,
but we too need our memento mori,
to see more clearly: how elderflower
brightens a building site, cow parsley
whitens a motorway.
The bird’s beak sharpens,
the dog-rose climbs a subtler pink.
Clouds swirl faster across greener fields,
the hawk stalks the mouse more cruelly.
All is clearer, crisper, more precious.
Running out of time is gift,
as well as curse.