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Regrets Only

My friend
who made so much of life,
who played through it
a forced vivacity.
And turned a blind eye to all
that which Life rests upon
but said you embraced life.

When did your success
become your virtue?
When did you discount virtue
because it cost too much of you?

As your time was winding down,
you stuck to your shuffling revelry.
Till, as the north wind, death’s draft swept the stupor
of your Life’s party out the door.

There was a time you paused, my friend.
Do you remember? near the end?
You asked if you had it wrong
about the coming Chill?
I only told you that
thinking sunny thoughts
never warmed a House.

-A. Charity Higgins Johnson

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