Dust If You Must

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time, 
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear, and books to read, 
Friends to cherish and life to lead. 

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there, 
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, 
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain. 
This day will not come round again. 

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, 
Old age will come and it’s not kind. 
And when you go - and go you must - 
You, yourself, will make more dust. 

~ Rose Milligan 

Originally Published in The Lady (1998)


  1. I adore this poem for many reasons, but it reminds me to always remain conscious of how I will spend the day with my kids - what we will do, and how I will respond to the challenges that arise throughout the day. It has also encouraged me to step back away from saying 'yes' to so many people and really start focusing on this brief moment in time that I have to mother my little ones.

  2. Replace "Dust" with "Check Facebook" and it would be right on target for today's audience! ;)

  3. So true Shannon

  4. Would it be possible for me to use the photo of the little girl with her face in the sunflower for my work -- In Care of Relationships? The photo is so beautiful and I would like to share it with my group. This photo is truly worth a thousand words! Thank you, Terri Crosby

    1. Terri - please drop a note to DrMomma.org@gmail.com so we can file this with the copyright owner of the image. I'm sure it'd be fine.



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