Howard Firkin
for Esther and Katya
Another day of our farewell. A process
much longer than a length of words can reach.
There’s nothing I have learned that you won’t teach
yourselves as you grow up and I grow less:
a waving figure trapped in your perspective.
Goodbye, my darling girls, goodbye. That’s me
left on my platform mouthing words that pass
for sensible advice through dirty glass
as you feel those first pulses of your journey,
and see your faces over mine, reflective.

We’ll keep in touch—exchange remembered lies
like snapshots taken only when the sun shone:
your Dad, a man I wouldn’t recognise,
and you two on each point of being gone.