To the Future

grandad to us all
Bronze effigy of Edward 3rd in Westminster Abbey

To the Future

My world was taught in your history class,
In half a chapter your teacher rushed through.
Somewhen between a turning point
And some other event which we never knew.
My world just probably made you bored,
Learning the dates of a notable few –
But not of my name – I never was found
In the textbooks on which you scribbled and drew.

Maybe then I was nobody special,
Somebody whom you can safely ignore.
Never improved a million lives –
Never brought hatred, hunger and war.
Maybe then I was nobody special,
Maybe achieved next to nothing at all.
But still I meant to a couple of dozen,
And for those the closest, an awful lot more.

You may then think that I was unknown,
Unrecorded in sadness and mirth.
Save for the parish’s register-book
Where my name’s still getting its three-entries’ worth.
Maybe you gotten my census or tax,
My causes of death and my weighting at birth.
But never be thinking that this is my lot,
All that I left from my time on this earth.

Never you think then that I didn’t count
Just cos you think I could never succeed.
Just cos you laugh at my primitive ways,
Never forget that we nobodies breed.
And if then I played in no big starring part,
But still my existence you so many need –
For there are yet hundreds, or thousand by now
In whose chain-genetics I mean much indeed.

It is claimed that anyone living in Britain today and whose family have been living here for several generations will lmost certainly be a direct descendent of King Edward the Third, who died in 1377.   Of course, if I’m, say, 24 generations down the line, that means I have over 830,000 great*21 grandparents, though quite a few of those will be dupliates.  Not that the poems about him, of course.

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