Written for Sheila Vann on her 50th Birthday


Rich in your soul is the history of strength, soiled

foundations that have seeded growth, distilled tears

and refused pain.


In your eyes is the genetics of sacrifice, the agriculture

of hope that has risen from the depths

of poverty’s rain –


and in your smile are the branches you have birthed,

each child tracing a family tree that extends

through a mother who stands by you, aunts and uncles who adore you,

through grandchildren who admire you

and many cousins who have inspired from

the same veins.


As you celebrate your life’s renewal, the roots of your name

have come together as one family –


from the southern freedoms of Georgia to the northern

heritage where ancestors rest –


from the hope of yesterday to the success

of today to the tomorrow’s dreams where only amazing awaits


we gather to appreciate your youth, to encourage your passion

and dance to the melody of your heart.


RootsToday is gorgeous because today

you are the representation

of  your many roots standing strong, breathing beautifully

and being you,


fifty years young, fifty years of blessing

the lives you adore.


Tarringo T. Vaughan

(c) 2013

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