Not knowing is salvation

I met a man,
researching his genealogy.
He said he was looking
for his past, his history.
I said: “And, when you find it,
what will you do with it?”
He replied: “I don’t know!”
Sometimes not knowing who we are,
is the only salvation we have.

©2011, Donald Harbour

We are what we have been

Francis Elizabeth Blasingame painting, age 14, ca. 1864.

Great Grandmother Francis Elizabeth Blasingame painting, age 14, ca. 1856.

The lines of life diverge,
Crisscrossed paths of breath,
Entwined fingers of the past,
A scrapbook collage to the future.
The ancestors wait to be found,
Furtive scribbled lines in books,
A birth, a marriage, baptism, burial.
Who are you to ask who am I?
Dig deeper into the yellowed pages.
Horse thief, laborer, carriage maker,
Farmers, housewives, soldiers, MIA.
Holding a hand before your face,
The skin has belong to so many,
What will you pass on to the next?
Kindred, owner, user, chromosome?
The DNA of yesteryear a burden,
The crushing weight of evolution,
A contribution to the pool of existence.
And yet, we are what we have been.

Copyright: 2008, Donald Harbour