Where I'm From by George Ella Lyons. I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride . I am from the dirt under the back porch. (Black, glistening it tasted like beets.) I am from the forsythia bush. the Dutch elm whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.
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I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride .
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush.
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
I am from fudge and eyeglasses.
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.
I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures.
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments
snapped before I budded
leaf-fall from the family tree.
I am from Colonial Hills Elementary
and girls-chase-boys, Saturdays
sprawled on straw-yellow carpeting,
OSU football and cold pizza.I am from a teacher mom and a doctor dad,
pumpkin hunting at Lynd’s Fruit Farm
and screaming down Devil’s Hill
on a steel runner sled.I am from “goodness gracious alive!”buoyant Dixie expressions
on grave Yankee mornings.
I am from church sermons
wafting through the vents
of a VW dealership.I am from corn mazes, bike trails
stretched over railways
like band-aids. I am from post-post-
industrial, the natural science museum,
black theater boxes, and wrinkling
time in the back of a Florida-bound
think about the items found in your home (books, bobby pins, quilt fabric, stacks of newspapers, coupons, ballet shoes, etc.)
think about the items found in your yard (swing sets, broken tools, tractors, hoses coiled like green snakes, etc.)
think about the items found at your table (foods that recall family gatherings, favorite foods, snack items, comfort foods
think about common sayings (If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times.)
think of names of family members, relatives, friends that link you to the past
Think of places that link you to the past (places where you stored your childhood memories, places that represent a particular time of year, etc. )