Heading east on 40
and traveling back in time,
we cross river after river
on sturdy bridges of steel,
where once the crossings were longer
The hourly distance covered now
once took weeks, months, years
of heaving oxen and strong legs.
The Smoky Mountains
blue in the late afternoon light
as we turn off the highway
to a county road.
In a tiny town
tucked in against the ridge,
‘Do you know where we would go to find…?’
We follow directions
and pull into the yard,
greeted by a young father and small son.
‘Do you mind?’
‘No, they rest right here.’
first of my family on the continent,
their headstones surrounded
Surviving the hardship
of the ocean voyage,
cutting the long trail
across a strange land
to this place in the wilderness-
settled in 1698
and died in 1726
on a most beautiful of mountains.
We stay for a few minutes
then head back to the freeway.
Back to the future they could never imagine-
the future made possible
only by their dreams.
***For the Yetts, my father’s mother’s mother’s people.
Real adventurers in that generation. Great that you know the real story.
A wonderful time travel begins when you trace back your ancestors and get a hint of their historic lives…. the return journey to the future of their dream sounds almost an impossibility but it is true..love the theme of this travel poem…
To get in touch with the past… we sometimes feel connected with all that lies between.. I sometimes wonder if all our choices have been right, if we have trivialized traveling to where it’s a matter of freeway and cellular coverage.. That’s why I sometimes need to put on a backpack and into the mountains..
A journey to your roots…this was lovely. 🙂
A magical trip, building an emotional bridge across the centuries. I can only imagine the Europeans who trace their families back more than a thousand years; a lovely take on the prompt; definitely moving emotionally.
“the future made possible only by their dreams”….so true, so amazing, the long journey across the ocean, then the wild lands………to today. It must be deeply meaningful to visit the old homestead and their resting place.My grandma’s dad worked on laying the first railroad tracks to cross North America…….where my grandma played as a child and walked as a young teen, she still could see the deep ruts the covered wagons made in the ground……..in her day it was still horse and buggies, of course.
How wonderful that you are able to see the headstones of your forebears ~ I can’t imagine how difficult the voyage was before, so much of the future unknown in the beautiful wilderness ~
How wonderful that you managed to trace back your ancestors that far back and then find the place where they are buried! A very moving time travel.
How touching and exciting that you managed to find them. A powerful reminder of our ancestors, of our personal histories…
Wow, that was quite a journey. How wonderful to find the exact place where your forbearers rest, those who journeyed before you, and made your life today possible. A very moving poem.
How neat to be able to visit their graves, tucked away in those mountains. Lovely.
Beautifully expressed.. 🙂