Count Down

By Robin Morgan b. 1941 Robin Morgan
Survival is the final offer
that arrives at the eleventh hour
just when pain to the tenth power
would kill you with another ninth degree.

By then, relief strikes you brief as an eighth note;
you wear doom proudly; it's your seventh seal.
But life whispers through your sixth sense
of what might await you in some fifth dimension

where miracle is saved for the fourth quarter.
Tricked, you sigh and rise on the third day.
You know better, but with no second thought,
risk that first step—absurd as first love at first sight—

as if you were back at ground zero, as if it cost
nothing, as if this were not the last laugh.

Source: Poetry (May 1999).


This poem originally appeared in the May 1999 issue of Poetry magazine

May 1999
 Robin  Morgan


Journalist, editor, activist, and child actor, Robin Morgan has been a leader in the feminist movement since the 1960s. Morgan co-founded the Women’s Media Center and founded the Sisterhood Is Global Institute. She has lectured widely, written articles for numerous journals and newspapers, and served as editor of <i>Ms. Magazine</i> from 1990 to 1993.

Morgan’s books of poetry include Monster (1972), Depth Perception: New Poems . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Health & Illness, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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