A hundred years ago the smiling man
in the wheelchair wore the same gown
his great-grandson is wearing now.
It is made of white cotton, softened
and yellowed with age, and goes
all the way past the baby’s toes.
The family has been telling stories,
but quiets now and gathers around.
The mother holds the baby in her arms.
The old man is smiling, and his eyes
are clear and aware. He knows
what is going on, and for a moment
I do, too, and I stand at the font
and cup the water in my hand.