Quite some time ago, Mary posted her own “I am from” poem and invited others to write their own. (That second link in the previous sentence will help you out, if you want to write your own poem.) I made notes on what was required and worked on it in March when I went to be with my mother post-surgery… and then it was set aside in the flurry of spring turning to summer, death and graduation and a cross-country move. Recently, I picked it back up, blew off the cobwebs and polished the final words.
As this year draws to a close and a new one waits in the wings, it is good for me to remember where I am from…
I am from library books, Dial soap, and hand-me-down Toughskin jeans.
I am from the yellow house with brown trim and Astroturf on the front porch.
I am from rocks & driftwood, blackberries, dandelions and rhododendrons.
I am from annual summer camping trips and blue-green eyes, from Ellen and Jim and a David in every generation.
I am from loud voices yelling and growing up tall.
I am from a long line of Presbyterian ministers, the Green Mountain Boys and Elder William Brewster who gave the prayer at the first Thanksgiving.
I am from the Northwoods of Wisconsin, from German immigrants in Pittsburgh and an Ohio steel mill chemist, from skim milk bought in glass bottles at Walt’s Dairy and casseroles to stretch a pound of ground beef.
I am from barefoot summers and the cool rains of the Pacific Northwest, from Disneyland, Yosemite, the Canadian Rockies, family slideshows and boxes in the basement.
And I am from misty, foggy mornings and the pungent smell of the pulp mill.