For Tim Russell

I always imagined my grandparents as
stardust hurtling through the vast,

or sediment gently settling atop
the stones in bucolic Lynn Run.

Then the snowplow snapped me awake
this morning with its scrape and growl,

& like a man who’s suddenly discovered
his DNA contains absolutely no royalty,

I re-imagined my grandparents as ash
shoveled from a filthy cinder pile,

sprayed from a truck to help thaw
icy roads. Still, matter is neither

created nor destroyed, so
on this morning after a night of snow,

my grandparents are out there somewhere. Hello,
Maude & Ralph! Morning, Ellen & Wes!

Wherever you are, whatever state you’re in,
have yourselves one beautiful day.

Kevin Rippin is currently a lecturer at NC A&T University in Greensboro, NC, where he teaches literature and writing. His full-length collection of poems, Amber Drive, was published by Main Street Rag Press in 2018. and he has also had a chapbook, One Shuddering Tremolo, published by McElvany Press. In addition, Rippin has published articles, reviews and poetry in magazines, newspapers and journals across the country, including Southern Poetry Review, Poetry East and Pittsburgh Quarterly.