Ancestors

I see them sometimes at night
an eerie procession

I cannot go far back
trace who they were
what their lives were like
but they have left tracks.
Deep in my skull they walk

expelled peasant women
babushkas and coarse cottons
red legs rough shod

I am aware of feelings
that nothing in my experience can account for,
history a little.

Fear leads the procession
fleeing hiding
unspeakable violations
how to save the children

Moral imperatives,
No excuses for anyone,
Family as religion,
An identity passed on
for thousands of years,
Strength of will
that threatens to break the person,
Anything can happen.

their faces beyond
dissolve the long line too
flight of desperation

Robert A. Davies has published widely, more recently in Counterpunch, subtopian and Windfall. He has published in this century Sometimes Subversive, Melons and Mendelssohn and Timber. Robert can be reached at rjdavies3@comcast.net. Read other articles by Robert A..