A Poem for the Family Historian

By Stephen J. Hartzell

I have extended my hand just as far as it will reach
And I fix my gaze intently on the impenetrable haze 
Why do I reach for a hand that I could never hope to receive 
And why do I look for the gaze that will never be returned

In the haze we call time the days of ones life disappear
All of the passions we hold so dear are lost with the passing years 
When our time has passed only memories remain 
And they belong not to us, but to the people we knew

As more time passes by memories begin to yellow and fade
As does the face of the person we knew 
And the day will come when even the memories will die
With the very last person who knew you alive

And there you are left with the fragments and clues 
Of a person you never knew 
And you reach out your hand just as far as you can 
For you are of them, and they remain a part of you

Stephen J. Hartzell December 17, 1995 

1995 by Stephen J. Hartzell
All rights reserved