Where I’m From

I wrote this “Where I’m From” poem a couple of years ago, but it seems fitting to share it now. It is National Poetry Month, after all! Oh, and feel free to write your own “Where I’m From” poem, if you feel so inclined…

Where I’m From        

I am from bright yellow sunflowers, from Peanut M&Ms and Diet Coke.

I am from the white house in the middle of the block on the only stretch of dirt road, black and gold Railer country, loud and proud.

I am from towering elm trees in graceful green glory, pink and white chrysanthemums, crisp fresh air, the vegetable garden of my grandfather, tulips, and rosebushes along the fence.

I am from crazy good family reunions in late September and determination (and stubbornness), from Howard and Doris and Aunt Nancy, my second mother.

I am from the always loving and sometimes drive-me-nuts Tedder and Fryhover clans.

From bouncing to the moon because of all the gum I swallowed as a kid and the bird that never actually perched on my stuck-out lower lip when I didn’t get my way, like my grandma said it would.

I am from Irish Catholic, Nazarene, Pentecostal, B’hai, and Mennonite.  This is my family and it extends beyond bloodlines and last names to the people that matter most to me.

I’m from small town America and Ireland and England and France and Germany and a Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma, pizza and chocolate brownie trifle.

From the great, great, great, great Grandfather Northrop who came to this country on the Mayflower, the Englishman looking for a new life, and the little Cherokee girl adopted by a white family who lost all her tribal ties to her Cherokee Nation (and so did we).

I am from boxes in the attic and basements and photo albums spanning generations and hundreds of years that we sorted through after my grandma died.  I am from the wild west that has been tamed and captured on film.  I am George and Phylis and Angela and James.  I am Alex and Abby and Keri and Sarah, who will, in turn, be me.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mollyspring
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 02:58:53

    fun concept poem! great way to celebrate National Poetry Month and your roots 🙂


  2. Nancy
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 03:17:47

    So much great detail gives us a better picture of our Micki! Thanks!


  3. Katie
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 05:14:51

    .(Where I’m from).

    California sunshine traded for gravel road, elderly neighbors, the ugly green house that our family turned into a home. Two horses grazing in the desolate field as we watch in silence.

    Welcomed by a tornado, we feel the fury and hostile grounds of the bible belt. Or maybe it’s just me. A tiny house. Boundless family. Acquaintances tied by blood.

    I am my mothers doppelganger, but I am full of all that is my father. Strong, independent, loner, socialite, star of my creators eyes, silent shame of the family. Smothered by the town of spiritual violence, outcast from the church found on every corner. Small town, small minds, no apologies.

    Freed from the grip of comfortable christians. Wolves disguised in sheeps clothing. I find me, I find peace, I find love. The everyday woman walking, taking, and laughing just like them. They love me, they’re shamed by me. I am a child of God judged by the cowardly among me.

    Where I’m from is a place desperate for love and fearful of change. Open spaces. Silent pain. A facade of joy.

    Where I am is home, warm with love. Wagging tails, running tails. A wife. New life.


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