Southern Illinois

How many times my father took us to his home,
the land of his ancestors and of his birth,
so we could get in touch with our past and his:
to love a life gone.
And we saw land more dry and dusty than sand,
filled with not much culture, but farms,
and people as dry and dusty as the land,
as if they rose from it.
Now I go down to the place that he came from,
alone to all the places that he loved,
and find that things have not really changed so much,
except that he's not there.
The family reunion's filled with all his kin.
Young ones keep coming and old ones keep going.
The cemetery keeps growing with those he loved--
the ground cries for him.

© Julianne Carlile


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