Each month, write a new collection.
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Remembering Theda Shapiro at the Coupeville Historical MuseumEnormousCanoe in the local museum.This family canoeBelonged to the manBuried at the top of the hill.Chief Snakelum. The last of his name I thinkBut I’m not sure. There’s a street named after him.Where is that family now?On Swinomish tribal landsAcross the bridge?Separated yet still near?I think I felt alone here til I foundOut about the lower Skagit people.Now I walk around My neighborhood with the Beloved ancestorsNot of blood but of choiceOf obligationOf possible connection—My friend the Jewish historian Adopted me onceAnd gave me berries to eatShe showed me cities I hadNever imagined. She spoke allThe languagesShe is gone now, and she never saw this place butI imagine her looking at the canoe And saying artifacts are importantBecause they help us remember andLove that remembrance even if Persons we did not know made these things;Somehow who they were comes throughIn their wooden fabrications — a boatTo sail the stories in. It’s how we rememberBest.