It feels like familiar comfort and discovery all at once.
When my sister shared this poem and her own version, I knew I had to try it too, enjoying creative thinking as I do! I embraced the title expressing the concept that where we are from is really made up of all the little things that create our day to day existence or our bigger life events. Usually when someone asks you, "Where are you from?"... usually you name a town or a city or a state. If this person asking is from the same general area, well then you may mention a street or a well-known landmark or place of business to help that person to visualize where you're from. But really we are from those little things that brand our memories, embellish our traditions and inspire us to stay or to move on to find new homes, elsewhere.
But no matter where you end up, where you're from travels with you.
What I love about this poem is that it inspires anyone, everyone to reflect in poetic sensibilities. So maybe Grace is from a Singer Sewing machine and Cindy is from wire flower petals. I love that this poem has taken on a life of its own and teachers in many schools have embraced it, and used it to inspire their students, to teach their students. Some creative teachers have even had students make videos of where they're from.
So have you popped over and experienced the original yet?
Go ahead, but hurry back!
While you're there, take a peak at this well-done videoHere is my version. I include it not as a great piece of writing. I think it's still in process, but I've not yet decided. The thing about this poem is that once you get started, more and more memories just keep coming back to you! That can be a real treat at times! I share my version, to inspire you to write your own.
I’m from early morning waitings, smell of dew, and cool pavement on the backs of my legs
I’m from cream cheese and jelly sandwiches and “Do I have to eat my olive sandwich?”
I’m from protest folk songs at a hillside gathering each day’s end
I’m from birch trees to climb, sprinklers to run through, and pill bugs to gather from the dark moist soil at the planter’s shaded edge
I’m from children’s books known by heart, adult book titles studied but never read, and stacks of 45’s played on repeat
I’m from Peanuts comics, a well-organized desk and helping to grade tests in red
I’m from meat and potatoes and meatloaf with crunchy rosemary ‘bones’ in it
I’m from Tom Lehrer, Vicki Carr, Danny Kaye and show tunes by the dozens
I’m from moccasins, sunflower seeds, Helm’s Bakery truck salt-water taffy and a running tab with the ice cream man
I’m from “That’s enough already!” and “Don’t touch the remote” to family famous BBQ hamburgers and kosher hot dogs
I’m from walls to climb over, roofs to climb on, clotheslines to swing from, and the pungent smell and fear of ‘poisonous’ oleanders.
On my mother’s shelf is a row of meticulously created photo books that combine two households and contain the family memories year by year
July 24, 2011
|I'm from special bracelets that fit like a puzzle or make jingly music with charms|
Thank you for stopping by to share poetry and memories!
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011