• Serena Tan

The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis I read of a man who stood to speak At the funeral of a friend He referred to the dates on her tombstone From the beginning to the end He noted that first came the date of her 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 she spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved her 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’ve 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? ©1996 Linda Ellis

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