A thousand parts of me,

Waiting for release

From their own ignorance.

For years they have waited—

The French artisan

The English scholar,

The Native American—

Together, waiting

For me to make them free.

I think of everyone I never knew

And guess how their laughter would sound,

But all I have is pieces of paper

With names, places of birth and deaths,

Dates that never meant anything to anyone,

Except them—

And now me,

The one who will master their escape.

Photo by Steve Tregeagle; do not copy