From the fields of a calendar, its snow
packed firmly into squares, I farmed you.
Following some paperwork you shipped west
and I flew home economy.
An interval like summer passed before a van found my house
and tilted you off the dolly.
Tucked behind hedges and twilight, with a screwdriver
I pried the lid and under
petals of bubble wrap
your eyes open,
blue as an infant’s
and equally foreign.
That your English came back as fast
as it did was more than anyone could’ve asked.
You soon made friends
just as I’d predicted.
You sleep in the spare room—no closet or chair
but a window onto something green and unconflicted.
Afternoons were tennis, sandwiches,
and drills recalling the yellow bike, the seven stitches.
I knew it tired you.
Mustn’t overdo it.
Your memory worked pretty well
considering the mirror time put to it.
In thinking back you’ll try to invent
a future: you see us growing ancient,
say, twenty-nine, translated
into dad’s shirts and ties.
It’s the past, when brother and sister
were all footsoles and eyes
together in a wood as steep as the Tyrol
that looms up unannounced, always a surprise.