Diaspora, Hour Twelve


Our family is a Viking horde,
descended from hardy Swedes and Norwegians
amid a colorful range of other backgrounds.

Fifty to one hundred people we consider family
have gathered together around a pool every 4th of July
thirty-six of the last thirty-seven years, excluding 2020.

Coming together every year and reacquainting ourselves
with each other’s lives is a renewal to me, a touchstone
for my at times lonely heart to caress.

Some years I haven’t personally attended, some years others could not,
but when we did, the connection sustained.
Losing even the option to gather in 2020 was devastating.

Our family’s personal diaspora from its beginnings in Indiana,
our travels to far corners of the world continues in each passing year,
but always we return, strengthened, and look forward to the future together.

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