I am from curly maple polished to a shine,
from Saltwater Sandals and Popsicles with two sticks.
I am from striped curtains on sliding windows.
(Thin and lemony, bubbling over my bed in the summer breeze.)
I am from the overlapping ferns of a forest floor,
the hollow of a towering rhododendron--
a hidden cove of tangled branches.
I am from Christmas oranges and hazel eyes,
from Mary and Edward and the man still unknown.
I am from the nose-in-a-books
and the one-more-degrees.
From we don't believe that and respect those who do.
I am from Sunday waffles and comic strips.
From one dusty Bible high on the shelf
and the sacred roar of a wind-swept beach.
I'm from Wakefield and stout Eastern stock,
casseroles and coffee taken black.
From the matriarch keeping secrets at the baptismal font,
the patriarchs pushed--and running--from their kin.
I am from stories collecting to a single pool,
the only children of only children,
trunks of mothballs and untethered memories
waiting for me to add my things.
I first read one of these exercises--from this template based on "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyons--over two years ago and always wanted to try my hand at one. Susan's recent lovely version prodded me into finally giving it a go. If you write one of your own, please do let me know. I love reading them.