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The Dash by Linda Ellis

Robert Browning 1812 (Camberwell) – 1889 (Venice)

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning.....to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the "dash" between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars....the house....the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our "dash."

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special "dash"
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life's actions to rehash.....
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?
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Submitted by turkdoll on April 10, 2020

1:13 min read
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Robert Browning

Robert Browning was the father of poet Robert Browning. more…

All Robert Browning poems | Robert Browning Books

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    "The Dash by Linda Ellis" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/53100/the-dash--by-linda-ellis>.

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