I know the names
Of my patrilineal line
All the way back to 1650
My father
His father
His father’s father
And so forth

But while I have their DNA
Or genetic structure
Or blood
Or whatever today’s science says I have of theirs

To me, now, they’re mostly just
Letters on a page
Runes from a bygone past

Except for my father who I knew
And my grandfather, who I’ve heard stories about

The rest?

While, in some ways, those are me
And my brother and my sister
Many are the ancestors that make up a person’s past

Too many to keep track of through time’s annals

Chances are, we’ve all been kings and queens
We’ve all been slaves and downtrodden
We’ve all lived in peace
And we’ve all died in war

But we may not see it

Because we cannot read

The symbols

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