How much would you miss a finger
were it not a digit but time:
a century, perhaps, for each—
the handful a millennium?
Would the loss of a thumb be great?
Would you oppose the severance much?
With the index next would you flinch,
bleat when the middle or ring went?
With two littles left, would you think
six hundred more years were enough?
But on the other hand, what if
you learned there were no other hand:
only five fingers to give her,
five fingers to round out the score—
every finger just four years long,
and all five fingers far too short?