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To those who have gone before March 24, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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So I haven’t published a poem in a long time … here goes …

“To Those Who Have Gone Before”
by the Rambling Man

Your familiar names vault from the page – an unfaltering script
clearing the mist from some long-buried fact.
I carry your blood but could not recognise your face.
Or those of your children; my grandparents.

With each secret uncovered, a new branch on a tree
grows and stirs up the questions that a fresh life can bring.
Was there another ? A name not recorded but who
smiled and laughed, cried and then faded away ?

The gallery above me, my ancestors,
in ranks, are slowly revealed.
I am but one from the bottom, looking above
at the unknown figures of my forebears.

What were you like, ‘my people’ ?
You who have shaped me and made me.
Were you bold, or humble, funny or harsh ?
In those times long since passed, but still present.

Your names I record, so that those who have gone before
shall be known to those waiting to join them.
With each name that I speak, I complete
the patchwork that is me. And my children.

I am proud to be of you. Gardener, sailor, soldier and rebel.
And too of those unknown, unable to read or yet to be discovered.
For I am of you and you are of me.
Your posterity is revived.

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