Letters from my ancestors
Have each spelled out ten names
Two to be used in case of emergency
Five for female spawn
Three for patriarchal ties
And six as shadows of mine own heart.
I love each one as any man can
I’ve researched each story true,
Chosen from my memory
I’ve drawn each one out, too.
I hold my head up high for them;
Each they’ve passed to me their secrets.
In my hands I see their scars
So, too, I see their years.
Through their streets I have sure walked
I’ve also gone for a ride
Sitting in the back seat
Of a stuffed full 1965 Studebaker
Heading out on summer vacation.
I’ve opened the door on Union Street
To taste homemade crabcakes and beans,
I’ve rode the long trail home
Passed Devick Lake out on the range.
So each of the names I keep at the helm
Awaiting imminent deployment,
Like roses saved in a jar
A timeless memorial stored as fondness,
An old lined sheet of blank paper
Found in the desk of y’or.