The Puritans/Heritage

In gender studies

We learned about how America

Was colonized by Separatist Puritans

With some pretty weird

Off-beat beliefs, things that

The other churches were like

“Don’t do those things”

(lmfao this horrible summary)

I remember when I was in

Elementary school we did a project

About our grandparents, and our ancestors–

I got to interview my grandpa

About his childhood, and

What his parents were like, where

His grandparents came from.

He didn’t really have that many answers for me, see

My grandpa grew up

An only child, with his

Deadbeat alcoholic dad.

His mom died shortly after giving birth

To his sister, she was injured

During birth, developed gangrene–

And died.

Social services came

To take him away from his deadbeat alcoholic dad–

But he hid

From them, until they left.

His dad was all he had, he didn’t want

To have to start from scratch with some other whacko–

He didn’t want to be in an orphanage.

When he turned 16 he got a job, moved out and

When he turned 17 he married my grandma

They were dirt poor and worked on other people’s farms

Until he had enough to farm his own.

He said

It was for this reason

That he doesn’t really know much

About his grandparents, or where they came from.

He didn’t have

Most of the answers

For the project I had to write about him.

It didn’t matter because he told me

So many other things, like–

All of that! I am one of the few people alive

Who know his story, who know his childhood, who know his life.

He is the toughest kind of motherfucker

Anybody can find.

Was? Is?

How do you handle tenses

For a spirit that burns brightly within you?

Anyway, I have a lot of love and respect

For my grandparents. They are the only ones

I know about. The others

Were similarly buried by time’s dirt.

I am often curious

About my lineage.

I am left in suspense, so to speak–

I don’t want to do one of those

Genetic testing things, that’s how they got

The golden state guy– I don’t have any plans

To commit great crimes, but I still

Don’t like the idea

Of volunteering my DNA

To the big ol’ data pool.

I feel like my dad’s side

Might’ve been puritans, but

My mom’s side…?

All bets are off. No fucking clue

I am a bit convinced

I might be related to

Some sort of French carnie troupe–

I feel like half of my ancestry

Came from religious extremists

And the other half

Came from fat, happy

Loud-mouthed performer poet

Free-loading charmer asshats,

The sort of people who left Europe

And nobody checked in on them

Ever, they just fled

To go farm, fuck, and laugh

Somewhere in Ohio

Somewhere where helping others

Was all that mattered

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