Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Am From

Loni at Joy In the Morning is having a contest, challenging us to write our own "I Am From" poem. She's even giving out prizes! So I'm giving it a go.

I heard about the contest from Mary over at Owlhaven A while back Mary asked her readers to write this poem for themselves. She even asked her kids to do this poem (their responoses were priceless). Back then I started thinking about mine but it was too late to post. I guess the idea of maybe possibly (but probably not) winning a prize is the rest of the motivation I needed to get my poem done. It was fun and kind of hard to try to summarize my childhood in this way. You can check out this blog, Fragments from Floyd, for more information about where the idea for this writing exercise originated.

I Am From

I am from down pillows, from Jaguars and Lincoln Continentals.

I am from the house on the corner where the parade once began, where generations before me came into the world. I am from the porch where we laid on our sleeping bags trying to sleep on warm summer nights as the bats flew off over our heads, from the house where the Snappy Mart down the block seemed miles away to the little legs that walked to it to get an orange sherbert Push-up.

I am from ivy, and roses, from heavy-laden apricot trees and honeysuckle wafting its sweet honey smell in the cool of the evening. I am from flower bulbs, that came by mail in holey boxes, that were planted by the hundreds with a hammer and perseverance but little plan.

I am from huge Christmas feasts lovingly prepared and a present for everyone to begin Christmas morn; from green salad, green vegetable and a tall glass of milk at dinner eaten every night at 6:30 sharp.

I am from arguments and star gazers, from crossword doers and cookers, from Joe and Ada, Jeff and Nellie, The Col. & Big Daddy; from Huntingtons, Burchfields, Estes & Woodburys. I am from the court room and the law library, from documents, files and briefs, and the typewriter going clickety, clickety, click. I am from an optimist and a melancholy who loved strongly in different ways.

I am from twisty toes and trouble with spirits, from people pleasers and family tragedy that choked away memories of the past.

I am from the sidewalk where I sat, too young to chase the other kids out into the street to walk home with Wayne, head bleeding, pushing his bicycle after a crash. From the wall where everyone painted their name.

I am from a front row reserved seat for the 4th of July parade and from stopping at cousin Dick’s Texaco station for ice-cold Frescas after swimimng lessons on Saturday mornings.

I am from “Don’t stew about it.” and “I love you the most.”

I am from the ancient brick church on the hill, from stain glassed windows, red carpet covering creaky floors and wooden pews with velvet cushions, from “what Good Friday is really all about.”

I am from the City that Silver birthed and copper sustained, from the Gila’s gateway, from the Enchanted Land. I am from green chile at every meal, BBQ’s on the 4th of July, and spaghetti sauce that simmered lazily all day long.

I am from pictures, cards and diplomas, mementos and newpaper clippings, stacked and saved away in the old wicker basket in the living room, from old yellowed black & white photos packed in the old steamer truck in the basement. Family treasures & memories always whispering to us from the past - remember, never forget!

My daughter did hers and you can read it over at Pastormac's Ponderings. I think that she did an outstanding job! Please leave her a comment if you think so, too.

Thanks Loni & Mary. That was fun!


Anonymous said...

Great poem! You're the winner as far as I'mconcerned.

The Barr Family said...

I loved that- I started crying right in the middle because I started thinking about my Ethiopian Boys and how their poem would sound- because they are from so much they will never know and understand and as I read your poem longer I realized that their poems would have a lot of what they know now in it- and we have to fill in the beginning for them as much as we got me really thinking about something....

Jan/ said...

Thanks for sharing the i am from poems. My students are supposed to be ready to share theirs tomorrow, and I am still working on mine. I'll post it when I'm finished.

Carol said...

Well done, my friend.

Jenny said...

Oh, honeysuckle! Enjoyed reading yours.

owlhaven said...

This is great... the barr's comment had me choking up too....