Memorial Day, 2021 sonnet

Ancestry.com found me a new cousin.
He’s a third or a fourth counting all
Our common DNA threads. I recognize
His great grandfather’s name, same as my Mama’s
Uncle, who served in France during the war
To end all wars. Same uncle who used to pray
Long prayers in the cold country church heated
By a coal-burning potbellied stove
Just in front of the pulpit. Mama, I’d whisper,
Shivering, why are Uncle Ben’s prayers so long?
She’d whisper back, “Hush boy, your uncle is
Talking with God.” I remember feeling
Empowered to know that someone so close
Had such contact with the Almighty.

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