Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Poem "Ancestry" by Fred LaMotte

 My DNA results came in.

Just as I suspected,

my great great grandfather

was a monarch butterfly.

Much of who I am is still

wriggling under a stone.

I am part larva, but

part hummingbird too.

There is dinosaur tar in

my bone marrow.

My golden hair sprang out

of a meadow in Palestine.

Genghis Khan is my fourth cousin,

but I didn't get his dimples.

My loins are loaded with

banyan seeds from Sri Lanka,

but I descended from Ravanna,

not Ram.

My uncle is a mastodon.

There are traces of white people

in my saliva.

3.7 billion years ago I swirled

in hydrogen dust,

dreaming of a planet overgrown

with lingams and yonis.

More recently, say 60,000 B.C.

I walked on hairy paws

across a land bridge

joining Sweden to Botswana.

I am the bastard of the sun and moon.

I can no longer hide my heritage of

raindrops and cougar scat.

My mud was molded with your grandmother's tears.

I was the brother

who marched you to the sea

and sold you.

I was the merchant from Savannah

and the cargo of blackness.

I was the chain.

Admit it, you have wings,

vast and crystal,

like mine, like mine.

You have sweat, dark and salty,

like mine, like mine.

You have secrets silently

singing in your blood,

like mine, like mine.

Don't pretend that earth

is not one family.

Don't pretend we never hung

from the same branch.

Don't pretend we do not ripen

on each other's breath.

Don't pretend we didn't

come here to forgive.

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