Upon Meeting My Great Grandfather on Memorial Day

Dear Charles,
I met you today on the net
The internet, that is -
Because I realize I know you in other weavings.
Died at your own hand, at 48
Romance
And gambling.

I was looking for an uncle,
The one who edited in Oakland,
He knew Jack London, Bret Harte -
I was looking for Romance.

When I look in your eyes
The tears well up in mine.
I feel as if I miss you.

My grandfather’s father took his life
And one of his sons did the same.
The others died of natural causes:
Your namesake - tobacco and drink,
My father, bacon.

I am clean and I am free -
Your brother gave us Tahoe,
His wife, this poem:

“Lake of a thousand hues from dawn to set of sun
Lake of silver and pearl as the course of the moon is run,
Lake with voice of thunder when wind and wave command,
Lake silent as time, still as space at rest on sand.”
Agnes Claypole Moody
Blazed Pine, 1941

which you may have published in “Out West”
had you stayed.

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