Through the Veil
Every year Stork's Tower's adorned
for the Chrysanthemum Festival,
autumn nuzzles the Black Forest,
fields of gold-ripened crops
and vineyards embrace
beneath sky's vast blue as steeples
and red roofs point toward heaven -
yet 1845 brought the potato blight
to Lahr, Baden-Wurttemberg
(German isn't exactly poetic...)
and Landolin Haas to Lady Liberty's shore
aboard the Rappahannock and perhaps
down the rivers Delaware and Schuylkill
to Pottsville, Pennsylvania
and soon through the doors
of St. John the Baptist
into the arms of Josepha Benedikte
of that same year.
1860 a Wisconsin farmer,
1863, a Civil War soldier...
1865 deceased -
a victim of battle or disease?
I follow the curve and slant
of Theresa Hershede's hand,
keeper of a rooming house,
immigration year 1870,
applying for naturalization ...
So many (great) Grandparents'
partial stories - ghosts upon paper
that flutter alive before me a bit -
who tilled the land still tilled today,
made vows in churches still standing,
in counties and towns I've driven past,
never knowing they are a part of me...
and I've only just begun;
so here's to the immigration trail
from Slovakia, southwest Germany,
and villages of Somerset England -
may lives glimmer once again
through the veil of time.
by Margaret Bednar, February 18, 2017
This is for a poetic prompt I am hosting at "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations - Immigrants". Not only am I learning where my ancestors came to in America, but the homelands they came from... how cool to perhaps visit those places in Europe one day....