In school, I sometimes failed to do my work.
It's not because I really wished to shirk
Responsibility. It's just that I
Could find so many other things to try—
Like shooting hoops—or playing catch—or (yes!)
Reclining with a comic book—at rest
Upon my bed. So what if grades then dropped?
Or hopes for Harvard consequently flopped?
Oh, I will catch up later—won't be hard.
For now, I think I'll play out in the yard.
Oh, I caught up. It took awhile. It might
Have taken thirty years to get it right.
But what’s a decade? Two or three or four?
I never wished I'd done it all before.
I've gotten better—quite a bit—since days
Of yore. I've changed my dilatory ways
Of youth. I'm very prompt and punctual now—
I’ve altered habits; I have learned (somehow)
To do my tasks—complete them in advance:
Because, you know, there always is a chance
Of illness, accident, or fickle Fate—
And then the time has passed, and it's too late
To do what you have promised to yourself,
And projects you've delayed go on the Shelf
Of Never. Just today I finished one
Of my most pressing promises. It's done,
And I can feel an absence of the rock
I bore—and silence from the ticking clock.
I really just can't cotton to
Someone who's just so rotten—you!
Shakespeare Couplet: Romeo and Juliet (13)
Says Romeo, “I have a soul of lead.”
Perhaps a party will relieve his dread? (1.4)