my lazy sister poses as a river.
In her hair, rims of ice
where she runs an orphanage for birch leaves.
The chill black water is God's mustache.
He has crows for barbers
and my sister is His postmistress.
A workman carries in his sack
things said to his wife,
a few hours from a week in July,
and a small statue of St. Joseph.
His train will come soon, smelling of hay fields and lady slippers.
People say to me, is that your sister?
We invite them to stay, but they fade as we forget them.
Papa arrives home in the winter.
He is the Northern Lights, we are belled reindeer.
As Russian Orthodox,
we celebrate Christmas in January and Easter out of doors.
Papa carries my mother's lost babies in his work sack
where they turn into inked letters.
His love is their postage,
my sister their patroness.
Once each year they return, with ice in their hair,
to sit by July and remark how his whiskers look like birches in the breeze
when he sees them, and smiles.
obligatory link back to Dverse OLN.