Where I am From

My love for poetry has always existed. In elementary school I would create short poems about myself and keep them tucked away, even to this day. Song lyrics continually ran through my head and I was never ashamed to sing them for an audience. Gifts for family members consisted of carefully crafted stanzas.

I suppose it wouldn’t surprise anyone that I love poetry and have grown to become an English teacher.

Of course my poetry has changed over the years. From innocent poems about life to moody self-discovery poems to a more insightful perspective, I’m not the same person who I used to be and my poetry reflects this.

To celebrate my first Poetry Friday post (Poetry Friday is a weekly blog meme. This week’s links are hosted by Donna at Mainely Write), I’d like to introduce myself. Currently, I am starting my first year teachingPoetry Friday in August, freshly graduated from college. But in order to really get to know me it’s important to know where I came from. On the first day of school, I will share this poem with my students. Conversely, students will also create their own “Where I am From” poems, too.

Inspired by George Ella Lyon, here is where I am from:

Where I am From

I am from fields of golden-capped wheat,

Where tailgates are down and doors unlocked

In a town surrounded by bluffs, the state so proud of red.

I am from an honest living: scrape every scrap, pinch every penny,

Where there’s nothing worse than a liar.

I am from sunburned Julys and frostbitten winters,

Where summer swelters and evenings shiver.

I am from leftovers for dinner, Jesus died on the cross, and mom is boss.

I am from frilly tutus and glittery cheeks,

Where pink blankeys make bedside appearances.

I am from don’t touch that cord, don’t ignore the Lord, don’t go by the road. 

I am from Barbie, Johnny Cash, Betty Crocker, Dr. Seuss,

Where celebrities are neighbors on the front page of the Herald.

I am from eat what you take, 

Where gravy topples instant potatoes and meat with every meal.

I am from piano every Monday, branding every spring, and church every Sunday, 

Where sinners sin but grace reigns supreme.

I am from dirt road dust storms while calling for the cat,

Where life is slower and hard work counts.

I am from me plus three: a frustrated family in a messy house,

Where family isn’t blood but blood isn’t far away,

Where he and she and he mean so much to me.