Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

18 August 2012


. . . and so, you see
I have been researching
my family tree, and when
you've lived as long as I, that can take
an eternity --
                    or thereabouts.
And that is one of the reasons you haven't seen 
too much of me.

My family tree is long and strong;
it goes back centuries.
On looking, I see a pattern
emerge, a story that is only marginally
about me.
It's about humanity.

I am, after all, just one tiny shoot
off this ambling oak, and one that bore
no progeny --
at least not in this lifetime,
so my place on the tree is like
earth in our galaxy.

Still, I'm part of the pattern, but
not without duty, or responsibility
to the health of tree.
At this particular point
in this particular generation,
without me, the tree
would not be.

This is the pattern I've drawn:
there is a long, strong base
that documentably links my family
to history.
It's full of soldiers, war heros, pioneers,
Admiral Perry,
and a questionable link to the wife
of our first president George.   Notably,
it's my mother's mother's ancestry.

But within that long noble trunk
it appears
every fifty or one hundred years,
someone stumbles,
drinks too much,
and looks askance
at the teaming world.  Smitten
by the beauty there,
that person beds, then weds
one who their own Society would label
An Irishman, a German, or
godforbid, a Pole,
an Indian, a Turk, or even Negro:
the whole clan mutates 
into a jumbled hybridity
that all adds up to me.

Accidental, incidental,
those periodic lusty embraces
between two so mismatched social faces
have produced a tangle of branches
that links cultures,
to the point that I can say,
with fair certainty,
that, dear reader, you and me
are kin, if only 

via viz


1 comment:

laura.forestdreams:) said...

i do love the way you write!! such nice prose...about jumbled up you! =)

me, i feel like a mutt.
i'm drawn to celtic, native american, african/black culture...hmmmmm...maybe some french, creole...i think there are pieces of all that mixed up inside.

then again we really are all some sense...