So often it has been displayed to us, the hourglass with its grains of sand drifting down, not as an object in our world but as a sign, a symbol, our lives drifting down grain by grain, sifting away — I'm sure everyone must see this emblem somewhere in the mind. Yet not only our lives drift down. The stuff of ego with which we began, the mass in the upper chamber, filters away as love accumulates below. Now I am almost entirely love. I have been to the banker, the broker, those strange people, to talk about unit trusts, annuities, CDs, IRAs, trying to leave you whatever I can after I die. I've made my will, written you a long letter of instructions. I think about this continually. What will you do? How will you live? You can't go back to cocktail waitressing in the casino. And your poetry? It will bring you at best a pittance in our civilization, a widow's mite, as mine has for forty-five years. Which is why I leave you so little. Brokers? Unit trusts? I'm no financier doing the world's great business. And the sands in the upper glass grow few. Can I leave you the vale of ten thousand trilliums where we buried our good cat Pokey across the lane to the quarry? Maybe the tulips I planted under the lilac tree? Or our red-bellied woodpeckers who have given us so much pleasure, and the rabbits and the deer? And kisses? And love-makings? All our embracings? I know millions of these will be still unspent when the last grain of sand falls with its whisper, its inconsequence, on the mountain of my love below. Hayden Carruth