I Am From
By Angela Mason Lowe
Pegasus Poets and Foothills Writers Guild
I am from South Carolina’s breath-taking
waterfalls and rippling streams
From Oconee’s cloud covered mountains,
cool and crisp.
I am from a family of bohemians,
wanderers who paint life in colors
From shades of blue, green, yellow and red.
I am from musical instruments,
a four-string fiddle and ukulele
From piano keys and guitars
played by ear.
I am from the rhythm of the drums
words of a song
From the healing balm of music.
I’m from the strong and the brave,
secure in faith.
From patriots and rebels,
immigrants and natives.
I am from the stories behind
pictures hung on the wall
From the soldiers of the red, white and blue.
I am from the richness of the dirt
plowed by the farmer
From a seed planted, watered,
weeded and nurtured.
I am from two hands used for work
and gentle caresses
From cotton mill workers and entrepreneurs.
I am from the lessons in life
taught through hardships and trials.
From sprinkled with laughter,
smile through the tears.
I am from the lines of a lyrical poem,
a shy actor on a stage
From rhyme and reason.
Angela Rigby Doble
I plunge my fork into the black soil,
and lift, and turn, and beat it to fragments,
pulling out horsetail roots. Back-breaking toil.
The sulky earth, disturbed, reveals and then conceals
partying worms of various pink and erotic shades,
making our cultivation possible in secret.
The fork may spear one, but they are made
to join and divide in strange ways; it will become other worms.
I bend, thrust in the fork, lift, turn and bash the earth,
I, the King’s youngest and most beautiful daughter,
disguised as a peasant-woman, labouring against my birth,
the ancient rules to be broken only by magic.
The ground I am thrashing into shape doesn’t care
who owns it, would yield its fertility
just as gladly to buttercups and knotweed as to the bare
purity of straight lines, parsnips, criss-crossed onions or leeks.
Here in the spell-bound garden invisible birds sing
in the high hedges of thorn, the first bees are seduced
out into the sunshine. Deep and hard goes the fork, but nothing
else is clear, whether I really am
that magical daughter who breaks the spell
and wins the kingdom and begins a new reign of peace.
It may even be that another has come, how can I tell,
charming even now the old king and queen to their knees?
Where I’m From
I’m from Georgia red clay;
kudzu creeping over the barren land.
Where towering magnolias
overwhelm the air with their perfume.
I am from catfish in the backyard pond.
(But please don’t make me touch
that squiggle and squish in my fingers
and smell like dry mud.)
I am from fried okra and peach pie;
potluck jello salads at church picnics.
warmed by the summer sun.
From Grandma’s homemade cookies
fresh out of the oven,
dripping with chocolate chips.
I may wear Oxner genes,
(from my dad),
but I am essentially a Beverage
(like my mom)—
sometimes icy cold.
I am a branch of Verla. And Francis too.
New England coopers;
Tossed together like dry tumbleweeds
in the wind.
I am from He walks with me
in the dew-filled garden;
hummed melodies while performing chores.
I’m from Laurel. And Jay. Paula, Amy, April too.
Women made strong from the consuming
fires of life.
Where I’m from inspires;
it reminds, and shapes, and forms.
But it does not define.