for Grace Schulman

Once you gave them to the children:
         those stems of pallid moons
from your seaside garden,

and they stood there exultant
         with their chandeliers of Hosts
turning this way and that,

their elbows and knees stiff
         like moments in a dance,
moving to the shuffle of

tiny drumheads in an orchestra
         of pearlescent rhythm,
or a tree of bleached semaphore,

or manna’s parchment fall,
         blotting each child’s beauty.
Your expression is unreadable,

under the straw hat brim
         in the deep midsummer shade.
One fragile diaphragm

puckers at its edge and strains;
         another is punched out
like a spectacle lens.

I know all this will follow,
         but instead I look harder
into the veiled hollow

for your eyes, your smile, a glimmer
         of nothing withheld or withdrawn.
They might as well learn wonder.