Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Through the Veil"

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....


Sanaa Rizvi said...

My goodness, this is beautifully deep and redolent!

gillena cox said...

Luv your reflective tone as you retrace journeys to self

Much love...

brudberg said...

The details of ancestry runs deep... I do love the fact that you have notes and can trace yourself back... for me it's more the multitude that left...

Martin Kloess said...

Very meaning for me. My mother and I are imigrants

Rommy said...

I love the feelings conjured by the phrase ghosts upon paper

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

informative interesting and a pleasure to read

Jennifer Wagner said...

It is cool to learn of one's ancestors. I hope you can visit the places you want to one day, and true to your poetry, we'll be able to read about them!