“Medieval Warm Time” by Lucie Brock-Broido:
Before the Iron Curtain, before the sadder
Century, the one I was born into as
A little Cosmonaut, creeping in bomb shelters
With Mr. White, the school custodian
Who shoveled the coal while I occupied the alcove
Of my ways, it was so warm inside.
That ice age was a little one, a few hundred years about
One thousand years ago. That was all before buttons
And their holes had been considered closure,
Before there was a left shoe from the right.
My mother’s hair was ginger-colored, somewhere where
It’s even colder than it will ever be again.
Everything I ever wished for—
A Dalmatian bounding spotted through the snow.