Still deep pink, regardless
of the snow settled between its petals.
I ask you how will your innocence hold up,
how will I know when the time has come,
when your infant skin is layered over
with that tougher husk?

Last night, I imagined you old,
like all the lonely old men
pacing the streets day on day.
I wondered hard, trying to know
you will not hurt as I do not,
pacing the streets.

Will your eyes still be blue?
If I were to appear back from the dead,
would they still pierce me,
the way they did when I glanced back
at you in your car seat that time —
rose-fresh love?

Inspired by Jennifer Knoblock’s poignant To Keep the Lanterns Lit Tonight.