Epitaph for a Young Man

                                              - John Haines


I seemed always standing
before a door
to which I had no key,
although I knew it held behind it
a gift for me.

Until one day I closed
my eyes a moment, stretched,
then looked once more.
And not surprised, I did not mind
when the hinges creaked
and, smiling, Death held out
his hand to me.