Three new poems, from three poets, different from each other, yet alike in their inclusion of images and story!

Where I’m From”

Priyanka Vadrevu

I am from a place far from where I stand,

where my days are spent on “scooter” rides and cake is fed by the hand.

I am from playing on rooftops with fallen coconuts,

coming down to pray inside.

I am from colorful garments of silk and cotton,

and a home where two cultures collide.

I am from those who traveled across the sea,

with only a sleeping bag and two suitcases in hand.

I am from the hard-headed and soft-hearted,

hugs and kisses given even for injuries small to grand.

I’m from weekend carousel rides at the mall,

nail polish of only pink and red until I was twelve.

I’m from stories of animals brewing stew in treehouses,

burning incense of jasmine and sandalwood for me to smell.

I am from the purple wrappers of Dairy Milk chocolate,

spicy biryani on Thanksgiving.

I’m from stuffed pockets of almonds in the morning,

as I hum along to “You’re Still The One” — Shania Twain was always singing.

I am from flowers brought home for every occasion,

oil head massages,

a neighborhood of peace, quiet, and isolation.

I’m from failed Christmas cookies,

love from a sister through arts and crafts.

I’m from “Riya, you’re health is your wealth”

and evening strolls on the sand.

An audience of cuddly toys sits around me,

as I flip through my mother’s wedding album — in search for familiar but unseen faces.

I am from carpenters, athletes, priests, bankers, chefs, and engineers.

All fighters.

I shall always remember my roots, however far their places.

Where I’m From

By Miguel Villasenor 

I’m from agave tequilana,

with sombreros and charreadas,

I’m from corridos and norteñas,

in el rancho and el cerro.

I am from el norte, actually.

With “¿hablas Español, gringo?”

I am from the American dream,

getting tired on my feet.

I am from work hard and dream big,

And “mijo, hechale ganas”

I am from “!tu eres muy inteligente!”

And “No paraces…”

I am from speaking too Mexican,

To speaking too American

Maybe I am Mexican-American,

The byproduct of the “American dream”

I’m from biculturalism,

That tears me apart

I Am From 

by: Shelby Blackwood

I am from dusty dirt roads and wooden fence posts,

Miles between mailboxes, trees that touched the sky.

I am from mud pies and bare feet,

Sticky faces and freckled noses.

I am from rambling pastures and horseback rides,

Flying across the flat land, climbing cliffs, jumping creeks.

I am from sultry summer days, 

Baby oil and iodine, Sun-In and the Top 40.

I am from the 80s,

Neon colors, perms and cassette tapes.

I am from a small town,

Friday night lights, blood sisters and broken hearts.

I am from strong, proud ancestors,

Irish, British, Native American.

I am from Ray and Carolyn, Johnsons and Chaplins,

Oklahoma and California roots,

From the Dust Bowl to the Golden State

And everywhere in between.

I am from I love you and like you

and go outside and play.

I am from four siblings,

Jumping out of barns, volleyball games,

Laughing until our sides hurt,

Knock-down fights and a shared history.

I am from many before me

And many will follow.

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