My friend, Tina, introduced me to “I Am From” poems, which were introduced to her by her housemate, Anita, who blogs about it here.
Every Monday night, the 6 ladies I share a house with and I have our “family night.” Two weeks ago, was my turn to choose an activity, so I brought the templates for writing “I Am From” poems.
It was hard, but rewarding, and fascinating to catch a glimpse into the fabric of what my friends’ lives were made up of.
While I won’t share all of them, here is what I wrote.
(Based on the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. here)
I am From
I am from Tupperware, from muddy chore boots, and the yellow rotary phone on the wall of the kitchen.
I am from the trailer house under the Osage orange trees on the dirt road, and from the brick and wood and gables two-story house, from the aroma of fresh-baked bread and the scent of cow manure.
I am from the amber expanse of wheat in June, from frail May lilacs, and kittens on the windowsill, the scarlet maple tree whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.
I am from reading Luke 2 on Christmas mornings, and pancake breakfasts on the west porch on Memorial Day. I am from eating slow and arriving late, from Daniel and Verna, and Mark and Mary, and Abe and Katie. I am from books and newspapers at the breakfast table, and eating bran flakes at midnight, and popcorn and apples on Sunday afternoons.
I am from “nigh-night” and “luf ya gansi bunch” and “Gott ist die Liebe”, and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Hardy Boys. I am from Thanksgiving dinners with pumpkin pie, and aunts and uncles with whole-hearted belly laughs, and tears running from laughter.
I am from quiet and reticent, from talkative and blunt, from Hutchinson and Kalona and the Alps of Switzerland and somewhere in the northern part of Thailand, from chocolate chip cookies, and from fried cornmeal mush with cane molasses, and from sticky rice.
I am from stormy nights on the way to the hospital when labor pangs seized and trees fell across the street, from shotguns fired by curious boys while guardian angles hovered above.
I am from combine rides and Pepsi on breathless summer afternoons, from barefoot in church singing slow German hymns, from the unvarnished dry sink against the kitchen wall from Great Grandma Nettie, from cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate on snowy mornings.
I am from silent and sensitive, from noisy and hilarious, from dreamer and homebody.
I am from still summer nights, and far away train whistles.
I am from all those and more.
5 thoughts on “I Am From”
I enjoyed your “I Am From” poem. It echoes
some of what my husband and others from the O.C. tribe would say. Thanks so much for writing a blog and sharing insights from a rural Kansas and Thailand city perspective.
This is beautiful, Lori! I love how this template for story and connection keeps traveling around. It was hard for my adult student too. These stories are sacred, and need gentle care when they surface.
Thanks a lot, Anita! I am glad I could share it.