Paternal grandmothers headstone Beth David Elmont Long Island
Paternal grandmother's headstone - Beth David, Elmont, Long Island
Shaindel (Sadie), variant of Shana Harris
died May 13th, 1959 exquisitely chiseled
alphanumeric characters legibly engraved
sepulchral casket entombing lovely bones
deoxyribonucleic acid repurposed into me
Matthew Scott Harris patronymic protector,
when I die taking family surname to netherland
who unwittingly named his youngest daughter
after his recently deceased father's mother.
Mortality encompasses subsequent cremation
never mind death of yours truly unbeknownst
mine soul will migrate towards deceased kith
kindred folks only known courtesy genealogy
descendents called Eastern Europe homeland
upon landing at Ellis Island émigrés hugged
immigration officials and illegibly scribbled
unpronounceable/ unreadable birth names
subsequently adopting common shorthand.
Chromosomes reconstituted genetic material
gifted from forebears ecstatic immigrants apt
to be regaled by relatives hustling newcomers
into fast paced frenzy, the latter gesticulating
at cityscape marveling over hubbub jabbering
babble synchronized in tandem with hawkers
and vendors selling, peddling comestibles,
gewgaws, papers, et cetera predating buyer
beware analogous to innocents abroad say
by George an American in Paris humming
Rhapsody in Blue.
Agog regarding novel sights never seen within
father/mother land, viz supposed New World
blitzkrieg eventually quieted, relegated, shelved...
analogous by Dickens perusing tchotchkes
commonly found within olde curiosity shop,
yet no matter acclimatization arose espying
eye opening merchandise, the dirt poor status
regarding bloodlines a couple generations ago
immediate deterrent experienced by Aaron
Harris (papa's father) as a boy, who provided
for his family, their hardscrabble existence
only somewhat alleviated thru hook and crook.
Please pardon poetic license usurped,
especially slight exaggeration of penury
promulgated concerning up by bootstraps
scenario evinced by paternal grandfather
after he attained and emerged out boyhood,
though destitution imprinted thru his infancy
until growing up hardened qua hard school
of knocks limiting him to eighth grade education.
Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2021
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