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A family history should be a musty moment affair
of brownish curling photographs
and ribbon-tied yellowing letters,
of strawberry jam recipes written in faded blue ink
and steamer trunks full of odd gloves and army medals.
But when such things do not exist
because they were erased
along with the people
who should have grown old
while they were telling the tales,
then those moments can never become musty
and there is nothing
except vague recollection;
sad words we once heard as children
by the adults who whispered them late one night.