My sister and I became obsessed with roots Ė
a time before pantyhose and wrinkle-free suits,
when families could own their own stores,
and feel themselves owners while sweeping the floors.
Success could be gotten by working long hours
in jobs that rode seasons like perennial flowers;
first the winter night for planning, then riotous spring
to summerís daily green and autumnís dry seeding.
Sleep followed by day, a cycle that will repeat.
But when in Vermont, my sister and I, our eyes meet,
saying what we cannot say.† We canít read the names
on our ancestorsí tombstones, from time or acid rain
we cannot tell.† Technology less blight than attitude;
we usurp ourselves, we, who should
rip ourselves from the ground to fly.
But, ironically, dreams are why we die.†
Today I photograph the blank, marble screens
where my sister and I see ourselves reflected, between
illegible tableaux of a family lashed together
for reasons long forgotten, and the unpredictable weather
of our lives, where we dash rootless and wet, my sister and I,
looking for affirmation in times gone by.