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.