Poem by Keith Welch


 

Heritage

I asked my mother about
her grandfather and
discovered he was a
drunkard from the Isle
of Man. There you go-

like everyone, I am the proud
scion of immigrants
come to America to
enjoy the intoxication
of Freedom, only to
be stymied by prohibition.

I imagine great-grandfather’s
first staggering steps
onto this sacred soil
waving his arms to drive off
imaginary bats, slurring his
name to the clerk of Ellis Island

Thus, another Perkins
tripped and fell into America’s
melting pot, imbuing it
with the enterprising spirit
of cheap scotch.

I like to think that among
the wretched refuse from
a teeming shore, he
alone was fearless,
quite possibly legless.

Nevertheless, he was
founder of a line of
surly, frugal Americans
who prosper in their own
small way to this day

 

Keith Welch lives in Bloomington, Indiana with a misanthropic cockatiel. He loves poetry and nonsense. He has poetry published in various small journals.

Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.

 

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