Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Divergent Yet Intersecting

Both ReadWritePoem and Totally Optional Prompts have weekly writing prompts - both with a deadline of Thursday. The creative juices still have a tendency to flow even while on vacation.

This week's prompt at ReadWritePoem was Go Ancestral, which wasn't specific enough for me, since I think and write about my ancestry often. I needed a secondary prompt, which Totally Optional Prompts provided: Opposites.

Divergent Yet Intersecting

Transylvania, Holland, Alsace, Poland,
England, Germany, Lithuania and Texas
all contain soil upon which ancestors dwelt;
Farmers, beekeepers, shepherds,
tailors, blacksmiths, salesmen,
clergy, judges, and doctors.

As I research ancestral lines I discover
some ancestors celebrated Hanuka,
others Christmas, and still others
the Green Corn Ceremony;
Jewish, Methodist Episcopalian,
Puritan, Christian Scientist, Mennonite,
Choctaw, and Cherokee.

I shall never find the records
for my distant ancestors
who either came to this continent
by crossing the Land Bridge,
or originally emerged
from the Nanih Waiya in Mississippi.

I delve through obituaries,
microfilm depositories,
internet databases;
I interview relatives,
and rummage through attics.

What I find doesn't alter who I am;
It illuminates the divergent,
yet still intersecting
paths of my ancestors.


Rachel Green said...

Fascinating piece. Thank you for sharing it.

gautami tripathy said...

It works.

symmetry in poetry or what?

Anonymous said...

I like the stanza about the land bridge. I didn't know about "Nanih Waiya" but looked it up, so you taught me something too. Thanks

Linda Jacobs said...

I like all the specifics in here! and you are right; it doesn't change who we are.

Philip Thrift said...

If Barack Obama and Dick Cheney are eighth cousins, then all things are possible!

anthonynorth said...

The interweaving web of our ancestors can be a sobering and comforting thing.
I like the way you captured this.

little wing writer said...

it is a beautiful journey of life i have often thought abt...

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the "divergent/ yet still intersecting/paths."
I can see the lines they left, crisscrossing the world.

I "added" myself to your followers list...your entries look quite interesting!

Deb said...

Nice concept to interweave the many distant lives, claim them and yet release, too. I like it.

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

I like this whole poem...I especially like the line about the land bridge. Some of my ancestors came over that way too. Fascinating.