My People


My grandparents

Archie and Jean never

made it out of the country.

Even driving the blue Ford pickup

across the Texas

state line

only happened

rarely.

Their trek over the

lunar-like  plains

sometimes was necessary,  just

to be with kids

and grand kids.

They lived on the land

farmed by their parents

and grandparents.

They never set foot in any other

nation

not even Mexico,

as far as I know.

But, I jetted smoothly  from

Oregon to Bavaria last month

and visited  village

museums.

I was also transported

in time

and memory.

I walked into the German exhibit of an 18th century

kitchen and stumbled, bleary-eyed into

sunrise in Grandma’s kitchen,

with stew sputtering in

the cast iron pot

blue and white crocks along the ledge

lanky butter churn lurking

in the corner.

Earth-tone colors

on functioning objects

made charming by folk-art

and clever craft:

all of it, signs of home.

In Jean’s home, German heritage

shone through

every part of

the modest ranch style house.

And in the Rosenheim town park,

the local sculptor

could have used my grandpa

for the model,

dressed as I always saw him:

comfortable in

bib overalls.

I was a stranger

in a strange land

and even there

I found

my people.

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