Middlesex Community College

Variations

Rhina P. Espaillat

Family faces modulate
like variations on a theme,
so that in chordal passages
the decades shift without a seam,

the living echoing the dead
to dress themselves in borrowed grace.
I like to find my father's look
safe in my son's unsounded face.

Such grave harmonics lend us back
the only paradise we know;
an idle game with time, but still,
not bad, as resurrections go.