My life is but a gift of time;

The sand of life sifts down,

And I may spend or squander it

In frivolous ways or profound -

It's up to me to make the most

Of all the sand that's spent

For like the unkind spoken word,

There's no recalling it.

No valve to halt the passing or

Call "time out" - like the game;

The sand continues down the glass

Each hour just the same.

I know not the precise amount that's

Still there in the top;

But I do know that soon or late,

One day the sand will stop.

Then may I answer when I'm asked:

"I did the best I could -

I made fair trades and did not waste

My life...I lived for good."

Joan Clifton Costner


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