Nebraska Center for Writers

by Lyn DeNaeyer Messersmith

I don't know her name,
this relative from the past
in the faded photograph,
looking proud, but not quite haughty
with a certain lift to her chin.
A hint of mischief underlines
the mouth about to speak her mind,
or say something slightly naughty.

Her shoulders are squared
In a manner that belies
Laughter lurking behind dark eyes
destined to outwit time.
Wisps of hair escape efforts
to appear sedate or mild,
and she wears an almost smile
that somehow matches mine.

I know it's in me too,
the strong and stubborn pride
that holds the tears inside;
give sher an air, somehow apart.
Though I don't know her name
I'd wager she was next of kin
to wildflowers and the wind,
And I've inherited her heart.

Reprinted with permission
from Ground Tied
Copyright © 2003
by Lyn DeNaeyer Messersmith
Pine Hill Press

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The Rock

Nebraska Center for Writers