Sammie’s Weekender #263 (vernacular)

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Dead and Gone

When they ask me, where do I say I’m from?
Why ask? What difference does it make?

Do I say from a blended Irish Catholic coal miner family
of the northeastern Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley?
From a time and place, now too far away?

A way to which I cannot return. My blood no longer mixes.

A place foreign to the vernacular of history,
now threatened by polite inclusiveness.

Now none of me lives there.
Only cold rainy nights and forgotten headstones
on lost graves of people I never knew remain.

Look both ways for ancestral truth, but the past is gone.
Mind the gaps for reality’s dark shadows before landing right here, right now, in this world.

27 thoughts on “Sammie’s Weekender #263 (vernacular)

  1. That is the quintessential question all feel is the one to get a conversation going… when the weather has already been discussed, of course. 😉

    Funny how one can feel disconnected from said roots when one has moved away. I wouldn’t know, of course, being the boring, never moved outside of, oh… 20 miles from where I was born!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do know.
      I have few friends there now and all my family has either died or moved away.

      I am going to walk on the indoor track. You know why since I have told you how wonderful our weather is. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My whole family is still within a 15 minute drive! Only for a period did we have to drive 2 hours to see my mother so…

        Enjoy your indoor, out-of-the-disgusting-heat track!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yeah. Rode my scooter (10 minutes each way). Got ‘er done!

        Anyway, of my kids, one is 30 minutes away, one two hours, and Julie is more than a four hour drive. If I had my way, we’d all be much closer. Sigh… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Scooter, eh? I shall reserve judgment 😉

        Dang. Sorry they are so far away. I was such a chicken. Sometimes I wish I had had the cojones to up and go but hell, I couldn’t even move to the “west island” which is a 45-minute drive from my sisters! Of course, at the time, we all had babies and saw each other 2-3 times per week which would have ended had we moved!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. Impressive words. Look for the ancestral truth but the past is gone. I followed a journey to discover who my family was, but now I know I can let it go.
    And what difference does it make where you came from? I don’t know anything about the Pennysylvania valley so I couldn’t judge you by that information anymore than you could make an assumption about me being from the Borough in Australia! (Unless you were from the Borough -haha!)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You are right, that question of origins is a frequent answer when strangers meet. It sets up a label straight away yet I don’t believe that is the intention with the question. People seek connections or at least patterns and they are looking for a pattern. If you say you are from somewhere they know, it opens up further questions, and if not, is an opener to finding out more about an area they don’t know. I am also intrigued by the differences in accents and will chat about that in preference to a direct question.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful write, Bill. I love how you used the prompt word:

    “A place foreign to the vernacular of history,
    now threatened by polite inclusiveness.”

    And the poignant way it ends. Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s why storytelling and folklore are so important. Once the apple has been eaten, there’s no turning back but we shouldn’t allow all the names on those headstones to be completely anonymous

    Liked by 1 person

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