Elegy #16
by H. Palmer Hall H. Palmer Hall

H. Palmer Hall's most recent books are Into the Thicket (Ink Brush, 2011) and Foreign and Domestic (Turning Point, 2009). His work has appeared in various magazines, from Texas Observer and North American Review to Ascent and Connecticut Review and points in between. He's a librarian at St. Mary's University where he edits Pecan Grove Press.

How do we assess a life, a voyage of close
To seventy years, a twinkle in the span of a country,
Of less than a century? Assessment fringes us,

Sees us year by year through the decades, asks if
We achieved this, affected that, did what we said
We would. Outcomes, accomplishments, what we

Said we would do: so many books of our own, so
Many of other people's…and all important, all
Offered in a spirit of love and giving. The sun

Will rise in the morning book or no book, the winds
Will blow. We judge ourselves on our own goals,
Lie down on fresh grass and look at falling stars.

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