POETRY: Family Bible by Robert Morgan

Family Bible by Robert Morgan

The leather of the book is soft
and black as that of Grandma’s purse,
brought west by horse and wagon, kept
on mantel shelf and closet plank.
The red dye on the edge has faded.
The marriages recorded, births
and deaths set down in pencil and
in many inks and hands, with names
and middle names and different dates
and spellings scrawled in berry juice
that looks like ancient blood.  And blood
is what the book’s about, the blood
of sacrifice and blood of lamb,
two testaments of blood, and blood
of families set in names to show
the course and merging branches, roots
of fluid in your veins this moment.
You open crackly pages think
as film of river birch and read
the law of blood and soar of blood
in print of word and print of thumb.

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