I notice my parents’ aging as I do my own:
Not at all, then in a photo, all at once.
I blink and seasons, eons have passed.
Now Winter speaks to me, her voice
a groan of boilers straining against cold—
Don’t be sad. Doesn’t the frost remind
of home? Of baking Piroshki with Grandma?
On sluggish mornings such as this, when
the sun sweats to warm the chilly earth,
I wonder what my napping son is dreaming,
what he will ask when he grows old—
Remember that photo of Grandma and Grandpa?
They are smiling and, though it’s getting dark, I smile back.
What was it you wrote about America and hope?
(So much happens when we’re asleep;
One morning I awoke to an altered Earth.)
You’ve begun to stir. I hear your happy babbling.
This darkness is heavy; I won’t let it crush you too.