I am from
By Serafina Skye Bennett
I am from the rhubarb patch
from hamantaschen and soapy baths
I am from popcorn ceilings, ventilators, household feelings And when they got too big for me.
I am from the maple tree
whose branches protected me
from the world
I am from old children’s books and hand-me-downs from my baba betty and dear aunt sue
who are no longer around
I am from hurtful words and twittling birds
from believing respect is something I don’t deserve and from learning that not everyone is honest.
I am from being held so close
i couldn’t breathe.
I am from tashlich by the sea
from corny jokes and learning about my family’s history and the pain that came along.
I am from challah dough
from latkes and applesauce
from pouring maple syrup in the snow
from alter cokers and foolish schmoes
I am from tough love.
I am from being torn away from your family
from being called a dirty jew, from the sting of deaths finality.
I am from mass genocide
and being a survivor.
I am from hiding in the dark with the sound of guns and marching outside
and from working through it so that your child can have a better life.
I am from learning how to survive
I am from my pig hat, and the potent, musty smell it gave when I forgot to wash it. I am from whispering willows and soft fuzzy caterpillars
I am from not knowing how to sit
I am from the moments… Good and bad
I am from love