Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ancestor's Blood

They carried water every day, most times a mile or more
in homes of sod and muddy berm they slept on straw topped floor
they'd harvest peat in summer, grains in Autumn, furs in spring
and they'd hope to rest the wicked through the hymns they'd loudly sing

Brushing teeth with naught but willow twigs and water from a pail
spinning wool to string, to yarn, to skein in case a coat should fail
reading books by wick and tallow light with concentrated haste
working sunrise from the darkness, not one hour to go to waste

Plowing clay with ox and mortarboard, then dropping seed by hand
milking goats and hunting rabbits, pulling boulders from the land
giving thanks to God for harsh, cold lives, and help to all in need
keeping hardship in perspective, knowing usefulness from greed

It's their blood that flows within me though they'd be hard pressed to say
They would think me somewhat laughable if they stopped by today
And I sometimes cringe that we've regressed to lives of anecdote
that we'd spend an hour in stasis if we lost the damn remote

I've this letter of contrition that I offer to those past
it's a mild but felt apology for laziness amassed
though I'm sure I disappoint you with my pudgy, spoiled ways
I've at least retold your stories, kept your honored torch ablaze.

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