I Would Rather Have....

I would rather have one little rose
   From the garden of a friend
Than to have the choicest flower
   When my stay on earth must end.

I would rather have one pleasant word
   In kindness said to me
Than flattery when my heart is still
   And life has ceased to be.

I would rather have a loving smile
   From friends I know are true
Than tears shed round my casket
   When I bid this world adieu.

Bring me all your flowers today
   Whether pink or white or red.
I'd rather have one blossom now
   Than a truckload when I'm dead.

                    --Qudsia Ahmad