POEM XIII: “THE FAMILY BUSINESS”

The Wallendas were born to fly
the Tudors to rule
and the Barrymores to act.

But not everyone knows there have been eighteen generations of Clouds who farm sheep
and twelve of sausage-making Ozols.
Nine of Dekkers who can’t mind their own business
and ten of Van Wycks who hold their coffee cups strangely.

My own family
holds their head just so,
tilted slightly to the left.

If we had pictures going far back enough,
you could see us cocking our heads
at bad weather and incoming armies and dirty dishes
for the last three hundred years.
It is the family business.

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