JOZEF

Standing on the cusp of a new adventure,
son of a cavalry commander in a country
steeped in tradition; in a turbulent land
of ever-changing borders and politics.

Out of Igolomia the soul sprang, songs
of patriotism and struggle inside your head;
an opportunity in a land that prided itself
on offering every chance to make a life.

A life free: to encourage self-reliance,
personal responsibility, to build a family,
a home, a legacy which was that strong thread
that a tattered fabric relies upon for its beauty.

It became your duty; your determination,
to come to a nation so rife with mystery
for a young man whose name had been changed
before an unknowing smile by a disinterested bureaucrat.

Assume the position; stoic and proud, a tribute to
a military upbringing by a father that released his son
to make a better life in a new land. Handsome, the
strong dark Eastern European; the broken English American,

of Polish descent. Not displaced, not discarded.
Accepted to make a name in a land of many names and religious
beliefs. Jozef Kura. Your name means “chicken” in Polish.
You were anything but. You were strong, proud and driven.

You were my Grandfather.

Walt

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