First True Husband

Mary Holden
Photos by the author of a keepsake from this wedding. The other side of the photo is a mirror…
…and the mirror is old and hazy.

She fell at first
in country old.
Let fate create
a daughter gold.

To rectify
collective scold
she made move to
new country — bold.

In Chicago
’twas men she polled
and found the one
whose soul she sold.

To love again…
to have and hold…
ancestral match
on mirror is told.

NOTE: When I’m in the mood, I let this small mirror hold the image of my lips for a minute or two.

My step-great-grandfather and grandmother had someone create this keepsake of their wedding day, which took place sometime in the 1920s. This woman’s story is remarkable in that she had two daughters with a first “husband” in “the old country” (Europe). When many things led her to make a necessary change in her life, she came with her mother and two daughters, alone, to the United States on a ship in 1920. The youngest daughter died while in quarantine on Ellis Island. Great-grandmother settled in Chicago, took a job at “the stockyards,” and raised her daughter the best way she knew to do.

I do not know why this mirrored keepsake is in my possession. I only know that when I look at the image of my own face behind this wedding photograph, I feel a sense of legacy and believe that humans earn more than just physical DNA and RNA.

What is known of spiritual genetics?

Mary Holden

Written by

A constantly evaporating editor and writer. Co-founder,, and ‘fester of mani.

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