Hungry to learn, a grandchild singsongs the alphabet
while eating a sandwich without crusts and drinking
from a cup with a safety lid. In the photograph
of my father’s father, shtetl boys in a wooden wagon
hold honey-laced cookies shaped into letters, alef
to zayin. Some wear bits of knitted scarves and fingerless
mittens, others shrunken skullcaps stretched to their ears.
Leftover snow darkens the foreground but the threat
of a blizzard hovers like destiny against the cheer I imagine
as their morning lessons tumble into sugary crumbs caught
in mouths, pockets and the troughs of woolen trousers.