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If tonight were the world’s last night
might I spend it striking the anvil
of rhetoric to prod wanderers to
become insiders?
Might I pester God to open his
doors slightly wider?
Might I quietly sip wine
with my sweet wife or keep
wrestling alone in what Yeats calls
my quarrel with myself?
As I cross the threshold
from one gift to another
leaving whirlwinds behind
will regret slip away as I find
my small faith is all I have
to lay before the throne?

Photo by Jozsef Hocza on Unsplash

D.S. Martin

D.S. Martin is the author of five poetry collections, including Angelicus (2021), Ampersand (2018), and Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013) — all from Cascade Books. He is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College, the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series. He and his wife live in Brampton, Ontario; they have two adult sons.


  • Rena ong says:

    Pause for thought! If this were the last night…
    That last line is very powerful. These metaphysicals really make me ask more about my own faith. Beautifully written .

  • Gloria J McCanna says:

    Hmmm… not just my last night, but the world’s…
    So good. Thank you.

  • Ryan Apple says:

    Great work again, Don! I especially like how this poem is a series of questions.

  • Laurie says:

    Wow, these searching questions amid the penultimate moments.

    Be an apologist, like St. Paul? A kindly Abraham, in bargaining mode? A Luther enjoying his good wife, or tender St. John of the Cross? Don, I love where you land. It makes me want to be more like you, more often, and like St. Therese of Lisieux, with her little ways, and countless others who quietly beckon me toward not only the giving of all, but reckoning rightly the gift. Thank you!

  • Susan says:

    Regret slipping away … leaving faith. This is what we all hope for, yes? Questions are such an unsuspecting conduit for finding yourself before the throne … with a little faith. The questions take all that one might think that they have to bring before the throne and calls them literally into question. Brilliant.