Sonnet for what ages and does not

My mother is older. My father, older. 
The pack of us now sober. Or soberer. 
The last of us left reaching daylight less 
alive. And once. I could’ve sworn to more. 
Older, we run towards the oceans. 
Passers-by check their pockets for rocks and guess 
at what we’ve left behind. They answer, older. 
The pockets, older. Rocks, older. The undertow. 
My first and only child. When we were young 
the earth was dying like a hero in a streetlight. 
Sirens. Screams. A Sassafrass I knelt beside, 
when I was small, to think. And all, older. 
The girl who, for a year, kept all her trash 
beside her in a single bag, refilling jar after jar 

Copyright © 2024 by Sam Rush. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 2, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.