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.

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2 thoughts on “I am from…

  1. Hi Karen! I’m Briget when I comment at Derfwad Manor. I love your I Am From poem and couldn’t resist sending you mine – hope you find this and let me know!

    I Am From Poem

    I am from
    Joan and Hall
    from the house with the porch above the yard
    above the tender pink
    of the cherry trees in the park beyond
    from clean your room every Saturday
    and it’s your job to set the table

    I am from
    Uptucked, strait-laced
    Pledge-signing Presbyterians
    I am from
    the hard drinking, hard playing
    restless rootless younger son
    who missed the boat
    and ended in Australia.

    I am from
    sit up straight
    from a lady doesn’t smoke on the street
    from manners, low voices
    and never letting your feelings show
    from always having my nose in a book
    and a knowing beyond my years because
    of the things I read

    I am from sixteen in 1968
    From civil strife
    From a changing world
    From questions my parents could not answer
    From society shoes that never fit
    and invitations to Junior League
    in the back pocket of my hippie jeans.

    I am from confusion and revision
    from searching in all the wrong places
    for the truth that was poised on my shoulder
    I am from speech and silence
    from discipline and excess
    from learning the hard way
    Every time.

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