Jim and the Treasure, N. C. Wyeth
from 1911 edition of Treasure Island
so rich with time
that it makes no sense to steal.
But I do anyway
trying to remind myself
how it once mattered.
These moments stolen
out of time
once were the most precious.
They were sacred,
mysterious, always rare,
giving meaning to all the rest.
To all of the moments that made up
the quiet mass of one's life
upon these few instances everything depended.
Not so long ago
a young man laughed with delight
at his cleverness as a thief,
Imaging his old age:
treasure chests full of
gold and jewels and shining moments.
There would be time then
to spend in wise reflection
over a life well lived.
Now the old man
sits in his Arabian Cave
full of rock and stone and bone.
These things that once seemed so valuable
I cannot even give them away -
scattering it all back to the world.
Now, there are plenty of moments
Indeed, almost too many,
I pretend to steal them only to remember.
These moments are the world.