Letters to Astrid

Dear Astrid,
it rained hard today.
Maybe the first
hard rain all summer.
The foxes and rabbits
and groundhogs
stayed in their dens
Birds stayed
in their nests.
If you were here,
we’d stay in, too.
I’d hold you close
but facing out
to see the trees,
tall, full, serious
with their weight
of green, waving
in the wind.
You are far from here,
though, watching ocean
waves roll in or fog slip
right up to your window.
Today two astronauts
splashed back down to earth.
Maybe you saw that, too.
In photographs
you have a serious face
taking in a world
of forms and movement.
Only in one do you smile,
wide and private.
Smiles at your age
are involuntary,
the experts say.
But experts have been wrong
about a host of wonders.
Your smile, I say,
chief among them.
Your age, I think,
is anybody’s guess.
S. Robbins, August 2, 2020

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