Ancestors

ANCESTORS (January 2004)


Ancestors I knew
and those I never knew.
Family trees.
They grow and branch
but backwards.
We say we’re looking for our roots.
So who is branch and who is trunk?
I am the end product,
the result of endless matings
but in turn branch out into others.
I am the sum
the penultimate answer
of a penultimate answer.

Who were they
where did they come from
what did they do?
What were their lives?

I can list some places
Wurzburg
Lulsfeld
Papp
Ulm
Lugano
but also
Ponape.

forester
carpenter
bookbinder
judge
peasant
farmer
lawyer
engineer
baker

Their children
five or seven
or perhaps only three.

Did they believe in the purity of the Aryan race?
Did they feel proud of their town, of their country?
Did they sit before the fire on a winter eve
and drink beer with friends in summer?

Did it matter whether they were
Blum
Voetter
Vergho
Klubdischadel
Rost
Vollmuth
Pauli
Appel
Isecke?

Why do we seek our roots?
We are the tree.
Our deeds the leaves and fruits.
Our offspring the new seedlings of the future.

Names.

Photos.

Faceless names.

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