. We Sum total of all life is death, And breath sustains us for a time. We’ll live until we’ve spent God's dime. The meter's running faster still. No matter what we want or will, We’re always in His debt. Some say that life's a losing bet, But we embrace its burning fire. We’re partial to the soul’s desire. We love the earth and all within, We love rotation, love her spin, We love the love and all we get. We’ve not been called away just yet, But if our fire died yesterday, And we were laid to rest today, We should not hold God in the wrong, For He shall wake us with a song __And so our future's set. . . A Rose and Me __My words, like models, only pose As simulacrums of this perfect rose. __No one can know or comprehend The rise and flow of love, the weft, the bend. __For love is what we know and feel--- The deathly lows, the height of heaven’s zeal. __Intensity is what I see In every moment that you look at me. __So, please accept this long-stemmed rose Which reaches out to you, the one I chose __In softened sighs, and read the note That answers all the questions that you wrote. __I hear you sotto voce here Within my mind and see your blue eyes clear. __I’ll always hold your memory--- The stem, the bloom, your fingertips and me. . . Mike Bryant is a poet and retired plumber living on the Gulf Coast of Texas.