Jane Blanchard
Ars Moriendi

                after Death and the Miser, Hieronymus Bosch, c.1485/1490

We like to think that we can still decide
As Death comes through the door—at last reject
All stores of worldly treasure and elect
A present, thus a future, without pride—

But there will be competing lights and voices
While good and evil forces battle on—
Plus, any power of judgment may be gone
Or limited by many former choices—

So it is prudent to convert before
The final arrow—lifted, aimed, released—
Hits home—since sickly sinners, once deceased,
Are out of time and cannot ask for more—

Yet even though this lesson is well-known,
Too few alive lose faith in what they own.