Poetry – A Family Trait

My Great-Grandfather T.J. Kennedy wrote a book called The Hope of Tomorrow and Other Poems. In November 2014 I was given a copy by his daughter’s daughter Peggy Carlson to cherish – which I plan to do forever!

The day I received it fittingly I wrote a poem — shared here:


Your Book of Poems


I was given your book of poems today.

Asked to borrow but instead made owner.

Handed down to the next generation of you.

It was a known but unseen family treasure.

Until today when your daughter’s daughter

Placed in your son’s son’s daughter’s hands

Your thirty-four years of effort and wisdom wrapped in poems

Fit into five and one half by ten inches

and one hundred eighteen aging pages.

In my youth I saw five copied pages,

which were all too soon misplaced.

It took twenty more years to feel the compulsion

to see the book, touch it, read it.

To know the depths of your wisdom,

through a one-way conversation.

Perhaps because I had my own daughter

And could see the clock of life ticking

another generation.

And the risk of losing the last tangible piece of you

into the unbound pages of history

Save for that shelf in the Library of Congress

that holds one of three other known copies.

I was given your book of poems today

and after each page breathes its life

into the hands and eyes of another generation

it will sit, in a place of honor,

behind closed glass doors

and wait.

Until your son’s son’s daughter’s daughter

is ready to know her great-great-grandfather

just as your great-granddaughter

Finally got to know a part of you.


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