Portrait of My Grandfather as The Kennewick Man
My grandfather is about 9,300 years old.
His crania rests outside
any modern group, on the soft banks
of the River Trent. His greatcoat is open
around his bones which cedar boughs have protected
from coyote (only the femurs are missing).
He ate salmon and there were small tins
of low-fat beans in his net-
bag, after widowhood then diabetes.
His worn molars will not yield
reliable measurements but he speaks to me
in the five languages Gran said
he knew, in the words Leopolis Lvov Lviv
and in the echo of my father’s stammer.
His skeleton carries such weight it cannot lie.
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