Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Single Impression: Movement


Family tree leaves drop
to ground carpeted with names.
Soon none above me.

I saw the prompt "movement" over at One Single Impression, and the one thought that stayed with me was that one. Perhaps it is the cold snap coming through, the deadness of winter, that provided the seed for it.

Of course, the leaves don't really ever fall from the branches of our family tree, even in death, even in divorce, even if it's our strongest desire. But generations sometimes appear to shake the tree loose of those before, and it really feels as if much older ones are no longer there.

None of my children ever met my grandparents or any other relative of that generation. They never met my father. The same is true when it comes to the relatives on my husband's side. To my children, those people might as well be historical figures along the lines of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. They learn an anecdote or two about them and can give you an approximate date of their time on earth. Anything else is just crunching through dead leaves.

18 comments:

kitehorse said...

very profound, like scattered leaves of grass from Whitman

Jim said...

Wow, Patois! Did you have to remind me?
Yes, that bottom leaf is almost history. Mrs. Jim and I both are the oldest in our line. Parents are all gone and no longer any aunts or uncles.

I like your haiku. You could continue with other ideas, like the responsibilities resting on those younger ones on top, the ones that blow away, ...
..

gel(Emerald Eyes) said...

Intense- I literally shivered.
beautifully written especially for a tough topic
the "tree of life"...

Deborah Godin said...

Intriguing thoughts on kinship and generations!

gudnuff said...

Asolutely beautiful! Amazing how you can reach deap, calm places with such adeptness, such artistry (ahem!), so minimally...on a Minday night/Tuesday morning!!! How do you DO that????!!? I want to know what Mondays are like at your house, if this is the product of them. Wow.

D... said...

Another great one.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I have been fortunate in that I still have all four grandparents and both my parents. Every day, I realize, is a day closer to not having them.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

That was really hard for me to read. I've been the keeper of my family's history for such a long time. I have been so lucky to meet great-great-aunts and all kinds of crazies hiding in the woodwork. I feel I am so much richer for having heard their stories. I hope I have recorded enough to give my kids sense of where we came from and the struggles that got us here. Very well written, Patois.

floreta said...

thought provoking. i was actually thinking about this recently... as a single person and only child, i sometimes wonder if i will not have a family when i grow up... "grow up". sigh.

Regina Marie said...

I like the simple wording..so true for many-

Bubba's Sis said...

I think this is your best 'Ku yet. I love it.

SandyCarlson said...

Wonderful poem. I was thinking it's cool your kids know these relatives as historical figures. I think stories account for an awful lot of what families are.

Our family was big, and I got to know so many who are no longer here now. Your poem touched my heart.

anthonynorth said...

The interrelated themes in this were wonderful. The generations do, indeed, march on whilst fizzling out.

Tricia said...

Beautiful. My son will have the same experience regarding his father's side of the family. There's something lost.

fourwindshaiga said...

Pretty much the same in my family. You wrote about so well. My mom has a page in her family book for the lost leaves!

Maggie said...

I have handed all the family history and old photos to my oldest daughter so she can now be the KEEPER of the LEAVES of a family existence.

Amias said...

Blessed is the family that space the children, but some blessing can be a hard one when the generations are not allowed the opportunity to interact ... This was so refreshing to read.

zoya gautam said...

rich

Beth P. said...

dear patois--
This was very bitter sweet--
Lovely--
It reminded me of the theme that I used for the OSI prompt a few weeks back, 'You're not dead until you're forgotten'-- a Jewish proverb

You rock, you know that, right?

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

A couple of months ago, I saw a client I hadn't seen for a number of months. Like more than a dozen people have in the recent past, she ...