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Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 12:01 am

origins poem # 1

my mother’s forebears changed their
name on the ship so we are wardners
not weidners three brothers fought in
the revolution two survived I know
little of my mom’s mother only she was
a sea captain’s child and from canada
andersen spelled with e so likely scots
my father’s family trickled over from
ulster before the famine (helped build
the erie canal) my grampa sometimes
referred to himself as a canny scotsman
or when digging ditches an irishman
doing a “foine job for which I’m suited”
my grama the most recent immigrant
born in england came as babe her older
sister (my favorite aunt) never lost her
clipped midlands accent told tales of the
sea journey then train from ny to lake
erie to midwest en route the ten kids lost
their folks temporarily “that was a cryin’
time I’ll tell ye!” we are immigrants all
the most successful unsuccessful critters
to live and breed on this planet as we busy
ourselves destroying our nest oh you say
native americans aren’t immigrants well
yes long ago they trudged across the bering
bridge or maybe drifted the southern seas
but the present point is we mustn’t let any
more in even kick out a big bunch you better
believe it this land was made for you and me

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