Outside, the scene was right for the season,
heavy gray clouds and just enough wind
to blow down the last of the yellow leaves.
But the house was different that day,
so distant from the other houses,
like a planet inhabited by only a dozen people
with the same last name and the same nose
rotating slowly on its invisible axis.
Too bad you couldn't be there
but you were flying through space on your own asteroid
with your arm around an uncle.
You would have unwrapped your scarf
and thrown your coat on top of the pile
then lifted a glass of wine
as a tiny man ran across a screen with a ball.
You would have heard me
saying grace with my elbows on the tablecloth
as one of the twins threw a dinner roll
across the room at the other.
Billy Collins is the author, most recently, of “The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems.”