Parent to Child

by Leo V. Kaplan

I let the ideas sift through your mind
like fine sand through an hourglass;
the notion of a revolving world,
with a flaming sun in its center,
the concept of a malleable future
and an obstinate past,

the idea that a month after your school starts
the trees’ green will shift into orange and red
and fall ethereally to the grass and dirt.
That before life returns
the ground will be wrapped
in a frigid blanket of glacial white.

But also that, as color returns to the world
then so too will the leaves,
and that your school will end
and you will frolic in the heat,
and that the rain will fall not in white blankets
but in light, beautiful droplets,
and that August will come again, and school too,

and that just as the seasons shift
and drag the world through a maelstrom of color,
so too will people come and go,

and that when my colors change in autumn
and I fall to the ground
and am buried under the snow’s coffin
someone else will come, in your spring,
and green will return again.

But you just looked at me
and said

“then I’ll just see you at the end of August,
when school starts back up.”

and I hope you haven’t changed too much
by then.