Combing through hundred year old catacombs,

A find…a wooden sarcophagus, a book of pine,

The ruins of those near death and those passed.

On papered pages walked the ghosts,


Unwillingly admitted.

Penned as if yesterday,

Hundreds of pages:

Their names,

Their admissions,

Their discharges;

Plunged into a world

Of dissonance and detachment,

The end of innocence,

The beginning of abandonment.

Fingers scanning… then,

Discovery… ancestry gold!

Yellowed columns, worn the test of time,

Then the find, the reveal…

Three wisps of life, barely begun,

Orphaned forever.


A mother’s death,

Five sparrows thrown to the wind,

Three cast from the nest by

Their Papa.

He kissed the baby goodbye,

But not the sister.

After ten snow driven mornings,

He gave up the boy.

Thirty days of shame, fear and depression;

Papa turned on the gas stove,

And breathed deeply, to sleep forever.


Artfully penned in the pages was

Samuel, the Papa, the protector, the admitter.

The admitted: Mollie, Rose and Isidore,

Forever orphaned,

Broken, fragile puzzle pieces,

Who married, gave birth and tried to put the puzzle together.


Ghosts of the past

Herein lie the names.

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