Whether you lie beneath a heavy slab of stone,
that bears your name, your birth, your death;
Or beneath the dampened earth, slick with fallen leaves,
A grave that time has forgotten and neglected,
Know I search, ancestor.
I may not yet know your name,
Or when you lived or loved or died.
You may yet be lost to me, hiding
Within the branches heavy with leaves.
Know I discover, ancestor.
In the smallest drop of red, or in the rivers blue,
That twist and curve upon my pale skin.
Each twine a root, a branch of my family tree;
Fingers trace our shared history.
Know I feel, ancestor.
A faint whisper, ethereal;
Quick to turn, disappear.
And yet, again you return;
Know I see, ancestor.
Dreams in which you visit;
Faded feathers upon the ground.
Against the dreary landscape,
The red of a cardinal appears.
Know I hear, ancestor.
Generations pass, names lost.
Faded in time like etchings on stone.
But like the mighty oak, whose
Roots run deep,
Know you endure, ancestor.