“Where I’m From”
I am from endless sky, long hot summers, Rainbow bread and rabbit-eared television. From Nehi orange and cinnamon rolls hot from the oven.
I am from a cracker box house, gray-shingled, single bathroom, and three sisters giggling as the breeze riffles the bedroom curtains. From prairie grass bent in the wind, horny toads, and rainbows after a hailstorm.
I am from hopscotch on sidewalks, skate keys, and limbo under the broom handle. From lilac bushes, fingers black from cherry picking, baby chicks and playing nursemaid to orphaned bunnies.
I am from the land of pump jacks nodding against a purple and scarlet sunset, the noonday whistle, daddy leaving for the graveyard shift.
I am from Mike and Pat, supper at six o’clock, Avon calling, and pennies saved for a spinet. From German prayers at Thanksgiving, Grandpa’s whiskey jug, and Granny’s rice pudding.
I am from second pew on the right, Easter bonnets, Just As I Am, and baptismal waters.
I am from No Man’s Land, long stretches of time in the state of the Alamo, from Boomer Sooner and a college parchment stamped with RN.
I am from keep your nose clean and to the grindstone, laughter around the oak dining table, the snap of playing cards shuffled, and a family of storytellers. From elbow grease and belief in the American dream. I am blessed and rich in family and love and grace.
What I am not is a poet, but when I saw this writing prompt on one of the loops I frequent, I was mesmerized by the music in the simple words of this poet form and knew I had to write my own “Where I’m From”. Even more, it made me realize how wonderfully crafted and uniquely made we are and how our experiences have shaped us. We all have rich stories springing from the basic elements of our pasts—the concrete facts, the hurts, the victories, the sensory details that give texture to our lives and wings to our words.
I’m reminded all over again of the tremendous responsibility it is to string together words that edify and heal and bring laughter to the lips of readers. What a glorious privilege!
You can craft your own “Where I’m From” using the template of George Ella Lyon here.