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Immortality

Let death come to me in mid-stride, while I am occupied with other matters.
Let my obituary be read and forgotten.
Let my children tell their children about the grandfather they barely knew, spinning tales that make me wise and mysterious.
Let my great-grandchildren at least hear my name.

Then let me be forgotten for a time, little more than a tally in a demographer's chart.

Let the decades blow through, sweeping away generations, then let someone find my name in a genealogy, some great-grand niece, who has always been interested in history.
She will be curious about this distant relative, twice removed by marriage.
(If she finds a photo, let it be one when I was young and strong)
She will record me, one more leaf on the family tree, and there I will sit, filed and so not quite
forgotten.

At long last let me be found one more time, by a historian who will stumble across me
while pursuing other game,
like a deer hunter coming upon a pheasant.
He will be so far removed from me that he finds my life exotic and therefore fascinating.
I will find a place in his book, an anecdote illustrating a larger point.
Let me find immortality
in a footnote.

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skip.knox
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