This coming June 24, my family is celebrating our 9th year in Canada. When I look back at our journey, I marvel at how things would have been different if we have stayed & retired in my native land, Philippines. The destiny of my 3 children is forever changed by our decision to uproot and migrate to another country.
Vancouver City, Canada
However in going over my family roots, I find that I am not the first one to journey and live in another part of the world. My great-grandfather is an American who came to the Philippines during Spanish-American war and married (and later on divorced) a Filipina. As he spoke 8 languages fluently (including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese), he served as an interpreter for US President, Teddy Roosevelt & US Army. Tracing his roots, I learned that my father’s ancestor originally came from Sweden and traveled to America in 1648 in the ship called The Swan to trade with the natives. As he had a gift for languages, he learned their language and bought lands from them. He was well respected by the Indians that he was considered “blood brother” and called Frande (meaning kinsman in Swedish).
I am sure that you have family stories handed down through generations about your ancestors. So our prompt for today is to share our family history or roots in poetry or prose poetry form. This doesn’t have to be a complete narrative as that can be long. Instead choose a story or two that you would like to share, focusing on a family member(s). What was life like then and how does it affect you now? Is there a family member that you would like to meet and ask questions? Feel free to share a family photo(s). I hope we can get to know more about each other through our stories.
For your appreciation, I have linked two poems about family history. Kindly click on the title to read the entire poem.
I came into this world in an Allahabad hospital,
Close to a smelly cow pasture.
I was brought to a barracks, with white walls
And corrugated tin roof,
Beside a civil aviation training center.
In World War II officers were docketed there.
I heard the twang of propellers,
Jets pumping hot whorls of air,
Blessing my first home.
My family wouldn’t buy Emporium bowls
thick like heads of cabbage or soup spoons
holding hand-painted water lilies;
our plates, chipped and resounding,
clatter at every feast. In America,
we acquired what was necessary:
some English to earn a living, cotton
for dull work, enough noodles for a long life.
If you are new, here is how this works:
- Write a poem based on the prompt and put it on your webpage or blog.
- Click the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name and direct web address (URL) to your poem.
- There you will find the list of others playing along. Read & tell them what you thought of their poem.
- If you use social media to promote your works, include the tag #dversepoets or @dversepoets so we can find and promote you as well
Happy Tuesday everyone ~ Grace