There are gold
flecks in the stone
I brought home
from the place
my grandfather
He could have been
a millionaire,
they said,
if he had just
half tried.
I wish he had,
I replied.
He had a talent
for calculating
board feet in a tree,
natural gift or
acquired skill
I could not say.
I don’t know
if that’s what
would have made
his fortune or
Just that he ran
a lumber mill,
and got the money
to buy a farm.
And after that,
my cousin said,
he didn’t work.

Not the story
I had told myself
of the hard working
stock I had come
But fitting in
with my aunt’s
of how they kept
the road hot,
running around
like gypsies.
And answering
the riddle of a
restlessness I find
hard to still.
And an expectation
that life should be
more than toil,
that every night should
bring a gathering
at the table
where stories insinuate
more than they say.
Apparently, they all
hung out together
all the time.
I guess that’s why
my mother found
her life away from
them so lonely
that she never
had anything
to say to me.