I want to feel love for my childhood but I don't remember much of it.
I come from ships, and hotel chefs, and men
Who owned post offices, and children
Lost to the sea. I come from pages
And pages of names, of Louisa's and Anne's,
And old letters with forgotten meanings.
I fell off the playground once, onto wood chips,
And I wrote a poem about the war.
This is my childhood and my history,
My lineage that trails back across oceans,
To a brick house, to an ironing board,
To a nugget of lost gold in the sea.
I want to feel love for my childhood,
But I only have the names, and the places,
And the signatures at the bottoms of pages,
And a wariness of the water,
That fear has carried across time,
As inherent as the family name. I want to feel love
For my ancestors, but only the names
And the fear remain.