It has been quite some time since I have made it over here to Huckleberry Gal. Yes yes… everyone is busy and yes I am using that as my excuse.
One thing I have implemented at work is a writer’s workshop class that meets every week with a Columbia U grad student. Just tonight we had a book release party for a small book of works they had published through a grant. I was so proud of the residents at my work! But lately, I have been trying to join in on the writing prompts to challenge myself. I never really had huge creative writing classes in school and was itching to join the fun.
The last assignment was to write a “Where I’m From” poem modeled after George Ella Lyon’s piece. So I did. And here it is…
I am from flickering Mason Jars with holes punched in the lid
I am from naps on a Sunday afternoon
I am from Barbie, Matlock, and a Jim Abbott baseball card.
I am from polka dots and wet puppy noses
from chore lists and muddy soccer cleats
from a box of 64 Crayola Crayons
magenta, periwinkle, and the wax-clogged sharpener in the back
I am from bunk beds.
Top bunk, brother
bottom bunk, me
trying to protect my stuffed animals from his teasing
poor Snuggle’s eye.
I am from cans of spray starch
and the early morning hiding spot to see my dad in his uniform.
I am from Xenia, Ohio. My husband says, “You would be from a town named Xenia.”
(He thinks it is cute.)
from moving trucks and bologna samples at the Commissary on base.
I am from uno, dos, tres in kindergarten and the big cowboy boots outside of the mall in Texas.
From “Remembering the Alamo” and embroidered Mexican dresses.
Fresh flour tortillas. All they need is a little dollop of butter.
I’m from yearly beach vacations
canon ball competitions held between Andy and Dad to annoy me
Lotion. Sunburn. Aloe. Repeat.
I am from fragrant Gardenias crammed in a bud vase on my vanity. Best. Smell. Ever.
From Geraniums in clay pots, hanging ferns, and the yellow rose bush on the back patio.
Blooms were cut for special occasions, like giving to teacher at the end of the year.
My living room is like a greenhouse, imitating mother’s green thumb.
I am from two layer homemade chocolate cake with that sugary, gritty, cream cheese frosting that I love.
Smacking my lips.
But I am also from a lonely dark dining room.
“Eat your celery, corn, peas, lima beans, (fill in the blank with any vegetable).”
I am from a cropped leopard coat and sticky Berry lip gloss
“Will it make my first kiss sweeter?”
Three spritzes of floral perfume… on my way out.
I am from the shopping bag of musty letters found in the basement.
From my dad at Torre Jon Air Force Base in Madrid to my mother in the old Civil War era
brick surrounded by farm land in Indiana.
I am from those tired red bricks, the aqua shag carpet, the white curtains blowing in the breeze
at the window where my mother watched her father ride the tractor in the moonlight
planting corn on nights in April.
I never met my grandfather.
I am from Coca Cola
glass bottle cold on my teeth
the fizzy burn on my throat on my grandma’s back porch
I am from the wistful Anne of Green Gables
and the determined Jo of Little Women.
From a loving and gracious mother.
I am from, “And she brought forth her first born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.”
fireplace crackling, smell of pine, memories scattered on the tall tree
I am from the scent of rain
walks in the rain
watching the rain
thunder and lightning
I am from a one stop light town to
a city all lit up
the wandering itch just won’t go away.