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  • Writer's pictureKelly J Massey

Madog Ab Owain Gwynedd

A Welsh legend I’m told,

a prince who refused to fight

with his siblings over their father’s throne.

He sailed away off to the west.

Did he know of manifest destiny?

No, but why wouldn’t a sailor travel

in the same direction as the sun’s path?

When settlers came to the Upper Missouri Valley,

they found Mandan Indians who could speak Welsh.

Who spoke of their fair-skinned ancestors

who came to live with them.

Was this the place the prince found?

Was this the place where he settled

away from the infatuation with money and power?

This is the legend of Madog Ab Owain Gwynedd,

Prince Madoc, who traded Owain’s throne for his freedom.

Legends are told of many, but the truth therein?

Who knows.

My surname, Maddock, tells the story of my ancestors,

whether legendary or plain,

whether truthful or exaggerated.

But the story of wanting to run from societal clutches

of greed and envy make me wish for a ship to sail

and an uncharted land off to the west.

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