Tracing Roots


“A taxonomic rank in the classification of organisms between genus and order.”

I am part of the Hominidae family,

Alongside every other human,


And chimpanzee.

Every extant

And extinct ancestor

Is the answer

To the question I don’t remember asking.

The vestigial tendon in my wrist

Vestigial teeth in my jaw

Vestigial and somewhat misplaced longing

For something I don’t fully understand.

Sometimes I think about the bones

In the passage tombs in Ireland

If you could scrape some DNA from them

They would probably mention my name

Somewhere in that code.

Is there something of them in me?

Is the turn of my ankle bone

A relic of some relative

A few centuries removed?

Sometimes I feel like

I’m just built of artifacts

And trinkets from some

Other era,

A collection

Of leftover emotions

DNA scrapbook

Layers of evolution

Tied together by ancient heartstrings.

Are the bog bodies my family?

Where in the human tree

Is my place?

I start the entries of my diary by saying,

“to the future archaeologist who reads this:”

­— to my descendants:

I hope you can fit me somewhere

In the history of our family,

Of our humanity.