Poetry ~ Haunted Legacy

In the last days
before the ending
he anguished. 
Haunted by a public life,
lived on the wrong side of history,
isolated by privilege,
entrenched in an old-world ethos,
he lacked the perspective to see
the interconnected reality
of the human experience. 
His legacy haunts history
reaching its long arm 
into present day
where a once great
nation remains divided.

Memoir: Chaney

In 1950, Chaney arrived at the
grand-old house on Hampton Street,
deep in the low-country of South Carolina,
to work for my great-grandmother.

In 1960, when my twin sister and I arrived,
our great-grandmother sent Chaney
next door to our grandparent's
home to care for us. 

And there Chaney remained,
year after year.  She cooked
and cleaned and fussed over us as
if we were her own.

She was family and we loved her.

Chaney hummed when she ironed
and starched the sheets.
She made a savory macaroni pie
and perfectly sweet iced tea.

She called me "Miss Suzy."
I simply knew her as "Chaney."
I never knew her last name.
No one did.
Mama said, "No one thought to ask."

And therein lies the pickle of my Southern roots. 
Chaney M. Gruber 1903 – 1975
Digital Art by Sue Viseth
In memory of Chaney, I found her last name by searching the cemetery directory of my hometown. She passed when I was a teenager, but I never knew her age. She will forever be timeless to me.

Poetry ~ Feeding our Ghosts

feeding our ghosts

The ancestors have arrived! Best stoke the pit!
Smoke billows from the beast ~ an offering heaven sent

The ritual has begun, the feast of ancestral ghosts
The bounty of the harvest stews as elders prepare the roast

Honoring our ancestors keeps their memory alive
Allowing the veil to open from this world to the other side

Ritual and tradition bind generations to their core
So feed your ghosts, make a toast ~ rekindle your family lore

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