In my twenties and lonesome I spent a day walking around a Viking burial mound. I was purging myself of atavistic sentiments—ethnic romanticism, my own Scandinavian sensibility. I told myself the dead don’t mean a damn thing.
Now I know better but I was partly right. Never romanticize your ancestors though they linger, trouble, conflict us. Epigenetic research is correct.
Oh I don’t like them. My private genomic dead. Money grubbers, god fearers, stabbers, superstitious. I don’t like them. And when they came to America in search of juicy prunes they just continued being themselves.
My point is simple. America is better when other people’s children come here—differing nationalities, other epigenetic stories.
Whenever I see Donald Trump I think: “there’s a man whose grandfather came here for the juicy prunes and nothing more.”