the hourglass

One grain of sand is not a heap of sand.
If one grain is no heap, two cannot be.
If two are not a heap, neither are three.
So keep adding grains from your open hand–

One million’s no heap if built up from one.
But if you could find such a thing as a heap,
You’d do no harm by taking part to keep.
A heap’s still a heap when one grain is gone.

Now say that this pile of sand’s in a glass,
With a neck that allows the grains to slide through,
One or two at a time–now and then, a few–
Til the sand’s at the base and no more will pass.

Instant by instant, time, like sand, creeps.
A life is just a heap of time, and so,
Though each day must fall, the life cannot go.
(Unless we believe that there really are heaps.)