John Muro: To My Grandchildren

Gathering up this aging heart
that’s loosened and fallen again,
unable to rise, leaving a space
inside me while watching you
sleep, hurtling aimlessly into
dream, after a day seaside
collecting shells and snails,
housing them in bright buckets
and counting each one like
wishes carried upon incoming
tides crusted with light and
then taking in, by firelight,
the day as it undresses and
puts on a night-time sky,
with story upon story told
or to be continued like your
blissful lives that I pray are
no less full and never-ending
convinced that this earth may
well be our only heaven and
the best we can do is to try
and hold such days close for
safekeeping and keep loss at
bay, and so what I’m now
asking is to forgive those
of us who, deep in life’s
winter, watch over you and
once again dream of being
young while hoping we’ve
bequeathed something of
worth you might hold onto
and never outgrow.

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