You’re entering names into the computer,
a program called Family Tree. Burritts
and Badgers and Shattucks. How fitting
that I’m fixing chicken with roots
tonight for dinner. Potatoes and carrots
roasted with onion, garlic, turnips
grown since the time of Christ
in France (my Alsatian cousins, surname
Grandil). Carrots, known 5000 years ago
in Afghanistan, making their way west
via Moorish invaders and Arab traders
to France and Germany (my Heilman
ancestors). Potatoes traveled to Europe
from Peru. The Irish lived on potatoes
and I’m told I have a drop of Irish blood.
Garlic to ward off vampires, protect
from Plague, and lower blood pressure.
My Mayflower forebears, the Brewsters,
Tilleys, Howlands knew it well. They
brought onions, too, but found those
roots everywhere in the New World
And so we arrive at dinner,
a hodge-podge, if you will.
But fragrant! I open the oven
and bring out the chicken,
perfectly golden-crisp on its bed
of roots. Outside, black clouds
threaten a storm. But in here,
our household clutches
the warmth of its hearth.
Copyright © Taylor Graham | Year Posted 2005
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