for Pat and Dee

They two
and we two,
born to two siblings
who hailed from Illinois—

we share the same
grandparents, we two
older girls and two
younger girls,

so much family history
between us, so many
photographs the older
two have dredged up to
share with the younger two,

spread out over a big table—
scattered snapshots, some
in piles, some in lovingly
assembled photo albums,

next to Grandma’s small,
century-old suitcase with
a letter typed on her manual
Olivetti in its distinctive
cursive font.

We look and laugh; one
of us copies photos on a
newfangled camera that
also makes phone calls,
summoning the spirits
of the ones who made us
by the mere mention of
their names,

those who walked our
ancestral path, paving our
way long before we existed,
who loved us before we had
a glimmer of an idea what
was possible, of the women
we would become.

My cousins: Dee Dietz Hann and Pat Herbert

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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