Grandfather’s Voice

I can hear my grandfather
singing night songs
through the open door where he sleeps.
His voice,
stronger than it ever was in waking,
cuts through the tapestry,
the wooden floors.
My grandmother says
he started singing in his sleep
sometime since
his eighty fifth birthday passed,
with no sign of heart failure,
or cancer returning.
First it was Yiddish nursery rhymes,
then love songs,
now holy prayers.
She says it’s because
his years have been so full
even in sleep he feels like singing,
reminding the night
he’s full of breath
unwilling to be silenced.

Marcella Pixley teaches 7th and 8th grade English and creative writing at the Independent Day School in Middlefield, Conn.