Friday, July 29, 2011

I am From

In 9th grade I wrote one of these poems. At 21, I wrote another.
I am from music
It bubbled up inside me without my asking for it
from running through the sprinklers
fresh picked berries in the evergreen-laden fields of western Washington
I am from peace
scrumptious Sunday feasts, family bike rides, and 'love sandwich' as a code for the group hug we did
after family prayer each night.
I am from a sea of good looking people
who still had problems, fears, and sins
I am from a life without grandparents
who could play with me
They all meant well
and I didn't realize the value of that wisdom
until my grandmother was brimming with dementia,
neck deep in forgetting
and I longed for her to remember
the glorious life she had lived, the legacy
she couldn't recall.
I am from time alone
crafting a world full of books and made up names for colors and Celine Dion blasting through my ancient Walkman.
I am from the time before texts
when calling was the scariest prospect
and Star Shots from the mall with my friends crowded out my bedroom door.
I am from sleepovers, secrets, and curiosity
from homemade bread, steaming fresh from the oven
from cheating at babysitting
and popsicles in July
breaking bones on the trampoline, skinning knees on blacktops, quitting gymnastics
and declaring my life's mission into a sky full of night and promise
I am from simple things: the same bed, the same church, the same freezer jam
See, I am from the extraordinary squeezed from the mundane
like a ripe piece of Juicyfruit
a life milked for all it has been worth.

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