I’m a member of a writing group who suggested the subject of the beginnings of my life as a prompt.
Where I am From
I am from sweet forsythia blooms
Strawberry Nestle Quick and cicadas sirening
From the three story house on Twelfth Street,
Bricked, lacey ivy covered and hedged encircled
From window seats with clanking steam registers
warming frozen feet on February days
I am from the towering maple tree who teased me to climb it
Who coveted crimson and yellow leaves collected
in the short Indian summer.
I’m from singing grace at supper and high cheek bones,
From the Britts, Scots, Irish and Welch.
I’m from Me First and My joke is better
From Baby Sister and You’re so dramatic.
From a neighborhood church with clear windows
encouraging me to see the natural beauty of God.
I’m from an old fashioned cow town reluctant to admit it
Salty potato salad and the sourest of lemon pie
sporting bouffant-like meringue swirled high
From the missionary’s daughter raised in Japan
speaking nasty slang learned from the maid.
From the red headed boy coddled by his anxious widowed mother
saving the family farm becoming a doctor simultaneously.
I’m the queen and the orphan girl living under the ping pong table
on the east porch
Who cried fake tears sitting on a street curb
when the funeral processions rode by
I am who traded Lifesaver candies for safe passage
by the alley boys
Who pushed one to the ground demanding apologies
for her best and forever friend.
I’m the girl whose life vision she couldn’t see
until it was upon her.
It all makes sense now.
Though the reasons are mysterious, the outcome is grand.
Wrinkles, scars and stretch marks depict a life
I’m unwilling to lose.
They tattoo me wondrously.