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Search for a Grandfather
    For Joseph Langer
by Mary Langer Thompson

Scrutinizing census
and death records,
I cannot find your name.
You disappeared in '52
when I was four–
got on some bus bound for Biloxi.

A stonecutter, you'd been around.
Left behind wife and family in Dresden
to build in America.
You once told my mother,
"Sometimes when you travel a lot,
you forget where you are
when you wake up in the morning."

Now, somehow,
I need to know
where you went,
where you died.
Because too often
in this rock-strewn California desert,
I, too, am lost.


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