By V.R. (Jim) Damiano, Jr.
March 7, 2006

I was born in the shadow of two mountains,
In a valley, nestled in between foothills of green forests,
Carved and separated by an ancient, yet ever flowing river,
Whose abundance nurtured the valley like milk and honey,
Quenching thirst to all creatures, big and small.
And to crops that would feed the nation.
I entered this world---
On a brisk October day, in autumns full bloom,
Peace, though temporary, finally filled our nation,
And colorful leaves filled the air and the land.
With their magnificent beauty,
Seasons would change as they always have,
Crisp winters of snow and cold,
Secured the earth in its incubation,
Readying it in preparation, it seemed and making way,
To the emerging green of spring and new life,
Leading ever more toward summer and its warmth,
Where crops grew and flourished and when ready,
Made way for the return of the autumn and harvest.

I often return to this ancient valley,
To relive the moments of my youth,
To visit the living and to honor the departed,
And to recharge this now aging body,
Remembering softly, how good times once were,
In this valley in the land of the free,
And sometimes, but lately, not always,
Hoping for their eventual return,
You know, those days we sometimes call,
The glorious carefree fifties,
But were they so glorious and care free?
Or was it just my then gullible youth?
But times they are a changing,
Or so I have heard in a time or two,
And the past, well it is well behind me,
With nary a word of farewell or goodbye,
Yet, this historic land, land once of the Oneida,
Site of many battles and blood shed,
A place once of the nations first civil war,
Where freedom was once won,
Seems to call out to me,
Forever beckoning, calling me to my roots.


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