2006-03-19

Where I'm From

Back in December, I came across this idea on writing a poem that describes where you are from. It has taken me awhile, but here is my finished product.

I am from mugs and spoons in a jug by the coffee maker, from Sello Dorado coffee and fritada con mote.

I am from rental houses with fireplaces, re-covered sofa, Ethan Allen copy furniture, and waxed wood floors.

I am from eucalyptus trees and poinsettia hedges, patchwork-fielded mountains rolling below towering white peaks, from the damp jungle and bone-melting warm beach.

I am from sage and onion stuffing inside the turkey, and difficult reproduction, from Gertie and Albert and Cora and Jack.

I am from Sunday-afternoon naps and loud sneezes.

From clean your plate and stop fighting with your brother.

I am from generations of missionaries and pastors, flung from England and Canada to China and Hong Kong, from Baptist churches in Huntsville, Ontario.

I'm from Toronto and England and Scotland, strawberry freezer jam on Saturday morning fresh-bought bread and apple pancakes.

From how Grandpa Grant was conceived on the boat on the way over from Scotland (which he really wasn't), the granddaughter of a tiny, polio survivor who would take out her false teeth and threaten to kiss us with lips curled up.

I am from the deep drawer in Mom's desk, from old-fashioned photo albums (that have traveled from Ecuador to the US and to Spain) with black pages and triangle corners to keep the photos in, from hand-written details.

~~~ If you want to take a stab at it, here is the format to follow, and what I think may be the original, beautiful example.

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).