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Family Legacy

Judith Angell Meyer Avatar Judith Angell Meyer - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Family Legacy which was written by poet Judith Angell Meyer. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Family Legacy

I met Uncle August on my honeymoon.
I was prepared.
“He won’t talk to you," my new husband told me. 
"He’s a cantankerous old man,
so don’t be hurt, he doesn’t talk to anyone.”

He was in his 70's.
I was 20.
He was ill.

He was right where I was told he would be,
sitting at a long wooden table in a large kitchen.
One that had fed large families
and farm workers
for decades.

His arms were spread out to his sides
enlarging his lung cavity
so he could breathe easier.

His head was hung between his shoulders;
a long crooked ash hung
at the end of his lit cigarette
between gnarled and stained fingers.

He looked up to me when I was introduced and he talked.
We talked and laughed,
nonstop,
for two hours.

Thirty-seven years later his nephew,
at his long wooden kitchen table,
elbows extended so he could breathe,
Oxygen snaking its way into ruined lungs,
head hung low,
trying to nap.

Was he remembering Uncle August?

Unable to breathe
paramedics took him away.
He never came home.

His children said their tearful goodbyes — 
and now they wait 
to take their place 
at the long wooden kitchen table.

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  1. Date: 5/19/2010 4:18:00 PM
    Powerful poem. The emotion comes through your words. Well done! Congratulations on having your poem featured. I wish you continued success with your writing. Karen

  1. Date: 5/18/2010 12:04:00 PM
    Many congrats on your featured piece this week. Rgds Janette

  1. Date: 5/18/2010 11:52:00 AM
    Thank goodness I quit that nasty habit when I did...sidestepping the legacy... :-D Congratulations on your feature!

  1. Date: 5/17/2010 5:27:00 AM
    Congratulations on your poetry being featured this week Judith. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 5/16/2010 2:10:00 PM
    GOOD WRITE, BIG CONGRATS ON YOUR FEATURE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HOPE YOU GET A CHANCE TO STOP BY AND CHECK OUT MY BLOG, S.K.A.T.