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.

10 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

Fascinating piece. Thank you for sharing it.

gautami tripathy said...

It works.

symmetry in poetry or what?

sister AE 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.

"Philo" 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.

OneMoreBeliever said...

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

angie said...

Hello!
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!
~Angie

...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.

-Nicole