Where’s Cousin Jack?
Jim Wearne copyright 2008
Many years ago, Cousin Jack arrived.
Things were bad in Cornwall, could barely keep alive.
But the streets were made of gold in the USA.
So he kissed his Ma and boarded ship and sadly sailed away.
When he landed here, times continued tough.
Work was for the finding, some, but not enough.
Cousin Jack got lonely, and he wed a local girl,
And did his best to fit into this new and foreign world.
Stories are forgotten, memories can dim.
Humming to yourself a half-remembered Chapel Hymn.
Fitting in’s important, lose the accent soon.
Dinner’s et at six o’clock, lunch is served at noon.
Let ‘em think you’re English. What’s that matter here?
Better pass for Irish. Drink the lime-green beer.
It’s what’s inside that matters, and you’re Cornish through and through.
Even if the only one who gives a damn is you.
I see the little boy, American as me.
He’s got a Cornish Great-Grandfather in his family tree.
And a Dane, a Sioux, a German, a Pole, a Serb, a Finn.
Somehow poor old Cousin Jack got lost there in the din.
Sometimes I encounter a Cousin Jack or Jen.
I swear that I’m some glad to see a Cornish face again.
But our hair is getting greyer, and some have passed along.
Soon they’ll look for Cousin Jack and only find a song.
Where’s Cousin Jack? He hasn’t been around.
He’s not out in his fishing boat, or even underground.
He’s not out in the fields, or on the city streets.
Tell him I asked after him if ever you should meet.