THOSE SETTLER ANCESTORS, THOSE COLONIALS

Those settler ancestors, those colonials
seem in some ways little more than an edition
of Shakespeare’s plays or a family Bible
I thumb through sometimes.
          Whipcrack, draywheel and fol-de-rol.

Or else they are like candles, quaint and archaic,
kept in the back of a cupboard and only
brought out when we need to cast a romantic
glow on ourselves, or the power goes down
          Whipcrack, draywheel and fol-de-rol.

and New World light bulbs simply won’t do.
Dour is the word; they look grim in photographs
pale with age, bundled up in their hardships
and Victorian habits of thought.
          Whipcrack, draywheel and fol-de-rol.

Would they be disappointed in me, the terminal
branch of their family tree, they who survived on
the Mars of their day when I would surely not?
The end of this sentence, beyond the fields we know.

          Whipcrack, draywheel and fol-de-rol.

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