Auto

The prompt today was to write an “auto” poem, so I took a semi-circuitous route and decided to write about autobiographies. Sort of.

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun "Daughter"

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun “Daughter”

Past Unwritten
(A sonnet about autobiographies, or lack thereof)

I imagine the lives my ancestors lived.
I try to picture what their lives were like
by looking at things I do know about them,
like where they lived, when they were born or died.

All the small details that make life complete.
How I wish they’d shared their words, had written
their thoughts, their lives, the way I’m compelled to.
Surely compulsion is passed from the past.

It seems I’ve chosen a futile quest, though.
Yesterday is gone and so are they, yet
I do see my great-grandmother’s nose in
my youngest son, her curiosity in me.
And that secret to the past, the knowledge
I crave? It’s been before me all along.

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