Two Pictures

Poem by Rachel Hadas

Sitting next to our father on the bus,
My sister sleeps against his tweed
Shoulder. One moist red cheek
Will be imprinted with his herringbone
When she wakes up. And two: propped on our elbows
On the living-room rug, he and I arrange
Buttons from my mother’s button box
Into the shape of a dragon. It is winter
Twilight outside the window
Of our groundfloor apartment on Riverside Drive.
Two discontinuous images. How they shine!
The smudges that accumulate with decades
Have been scrubbed clean off
By something stronger than water,
Drawn from a different source
Than the cloudy well of memory.