I Am From
I am from the pages of a book where I often kept my nose
and the forest behind our house under its canopy I found adventure.
From tropical punch Kool-Aid and government cheese.
I am from a small farmhouse.
Busy, loving, purple fingers from shucking beans under the shade tree.
I am from the dandelions that spotted our yard with yellow.
The black walnut trees
whose long limbs I remember as if they were my own.
I am from large family gatherings and regular church attendance.
From Uncle Dale and Aunt Carol.
Playing outdoors and being silly.
From go outside and play and too much candy will rot your teeth
and this little light of mine.
I am from Christmas Eve at grandma’s house.
I am from Northwest Illinois and German, English, and Native American descent.
Venison stew and vegetables from the garden.
From Dad’s firework stand in Alabama next to a restaurant where I ate my first bacon cheeseburger,
an occasional mouthwatering lunch break that was a treat every time.
From handsewn quilts my grandmas made
that still keeps me warm.
Grandpa’s guitars passed down to me
that continue to create music to my ears.
Mom’s love and kindness.
Never-ending and unconditional.
From service to my country and first college graduate in my family,
changing the narrative and trajectory for my family.
I am… from all of this.