For My Great-Great Grandson the Space Pioneer


You, What's-your-name, who down the byways of my blood

are hurtling toward the future, tell me if you've packed

the thousand flavors of the wind, the river's voice,

the tongues of moss and fern singing the earth.


And where have you left the rain? Careful: don't lose it,

nor the moan of the seagull in her blue desert,

nor those stars warm as caresses

you will not find again in your nights of steel.


Watch that you don't run short of butterflies;

learn the colors of the hours;

and here, in this little case of bones

I've left you the perfume of the sea.


Rhina Espaillat