Thinking of my grandparents,
I stand for a moment on the curb
of a street they often walked,
the old walks cracked and chipped,
and I want to call out to them,
as if they were climbers just ahead
moving across rock and fields of ice,
rubble in the slip of years past.
But if they spoke, would it only
be to say, watch the path, here
a climber fell, and there another,
into the dark heart of the world?
The day of my grandmother’s funeral
the boulevards were full of rain,
and grandfather’s a year later,
came in deep June, just as the
roses he had planted
forty years before, had thrown
their blossoms across the porch.
By then, though, their friends
were mostly gone and inside
the parlour furniture was worn
and the frame house smelling
of old clothes and old people.
By then too I had heard that great pulse,
closed my eyes, and stepped forward,
right at the icy edge of their certainty.