They said take a bath
in the waters of your ancestors,
but it was too scalding to wade
with wigs and powder.
I just heard each ripple,
each crinkle of homespun petticoat
like a stream beside the broad
leaves of tobacco that
waterfall the sloped hillsides,
and the flow of the Declaration
changed for light and transient causes
feels free to do the butterfly,
watch musket balls fly
drenched from the backstroke
of a salute to the original thirteen.
Born to bare the breaststroke
past the bombs bursting in air,
I’m left to freestyle,
a kiss to my country,
my colonial childhood
spent under spacious skies.
© khartless 2021, All Rights Reserved
This poem is written for Flashback Track Friday #22 Born on the Bayou. I was born in Williamsburg, Virginia and grew up among the history of the nation’s first capital. It was an amazing experience to be born in such a place and this poem captures a bit of the “hoodoo” of the place. Join us in sharing the ghosts of the place of your birth. Happy 4th of July!
The print is a photo from Williamsburg that I have in my kitchen. It always reminds me of home.