Heritage: Men From an Unknown Memory
I’ve seen pictures of them,
The men of my family.
Though I’ve never met most, they are part
Of me. I am their resolve.
My men were strong and solid.
They swaggered a little.
They tilted their hats to one side
And leaned against trucks.
They laughed and dreamed. Some
Were reckless to the point of sin.
They held themselves upright,
Though life would blow to bow them down.
Proud of their ability and construct,
They worked with wood and
With machines, with tools and with dirt.
Insightful craftsmen and engineers.
I know their structures.
Silent musicians of my past.
I hear their songs.
Before I was born.
My men gave me life and strength.
Before I was born,
I accepted their endowments,
Both good and bad,
Fine and faulty.
Forming my life with their
I am their labor.
Audio and Author Comment-
On this Labor Day, I could not help but post this poem. It is one of my favorites. I, like most of you, stand on the shoulders of parents and grandparents. My family is traced back to 1642 in Cornwall, England. There are hundreds of names in the family tree. They all sound familiar to me. There is no royalty, no fame. As far as I can tell, most of my ancestors were ordinary workers in one ordinary occupation or another. Education was not evident, wealth was not apparent. But, as the poem says, I stand on their shoulders. I'm proud to do so. skp