David Subacchi
Closing That Door

Philip has traced his ancestry back to medieval times
He tells me proudly,
He has researched church registers and graveyards,
Looked at state census records on and off line,
Investigated old Welsh newspapers
Now captured on microfilm;
There is very little more he can do
He says, the picture is complete.

He asks if I have done anything similar,
I tell him ‘No’ and his eyes widen,
So I explain that before 1913
All my family history is in Italy;
Things take longer over there
And are less accessible,
The storage of records
Interrupted several times by warfare.

He nods and I think he understands
But I’m not sure,
He suggests various search engines
While I think only of gazing
Into the vacant eyes of officials
And the pain of unanswered letters;
I thank him for his kind advice,
Mentally closing that door.