1975
Kindred Dead
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“Kindred Dead,” Ensign, Aug. 1975, inside front cover

Kindred Dead

Thomas Frazier,

Son of William K. and Mary Frazier.

Two short lines on a tombstone—

the sum total of the brief life of a male child,

a son,

a brother,

an embryo spirit sent earthward

to fulfill God’s eternal plan.

I seek to identify him

in compliance with certain guidelines

but can only deduce from a census record

that a male child,

five years and under in 1840

son of William Frazier and wife,

was no longer living in 1849

when, father dead,

the children of William K. Frazier

were listed in the Orphans Court records.

And there, in the bill of sale,

among the schedule of property taken by the widow

(his second wife),

is one family bible

and a lot of family pictures

clues, perhaps, to the short life,

the ever so necessary birthdate,

birthplace

and parentage

of Thomas Frazier;

records which are now lost to me

tucked away perhaps in some unknown’s bureau drawer

or stored away on a bookshelf.

And oh, the frustration I feel

as his spirit calls to mine—

I was here.

I am kin.

Please don’t forget.

Illustrated by Jerry Harston