A Labyrinth of Strangers
They’re all familiar enough in the beginning: parents,
aunts, uncles, grandparents—relatives who’ve been
part of your short, sweet life. Yet, as you move further
back in time, names, dates and places become increasingly
obscure until, eventually, you find yourself stumbling
about in a labyrinth of strangers.
Still you keep on digging, hoping to find that one luminous
figure among your ancestors. But, take care; what you uncover
may leave you wishing you’d left well enough alone, remained
in blissful ignorance, untouched by the viper which has been
waiting all these years to sink its fangs into your heel.
For in most things there is a balance of sorts—light versus
dark, good versus evil—you get my drift. And with a linage
that, theoretically, stretches all the way back to the first fish
which made its way up out of the ocean onto dry land, you
have to expect a Snopes or two, perhaps even a Hannibal Lecter,
hiding somewhere in the foliage of your family tree!
(Howard Brown is a poet who lives in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. His poetry has appeared in The Beautiful Space (May 31, 2018), Burningword Literary Journal, Blue Collar Review, Tuck Magazine, Pure Slush, Poetry Super Highway, Old Hickory Review, Lone Stars Magazine and Devil’s Party Press (forthcoming).
The Beautiful Space-