I am from poem

How have I lived to be this old without attempting an “I Am From” poem?

A rectification …

I am from sharp pencils
from Ivory soap and Duke’s mayonnaise
I am from the secret vault under the concrete back steps
(cool, cobwebby, smelling of ghosts)
I am from gardenias
from towering Eastern pines
heavy boughs whispering
waving to me like a vertical green sea
I’m from storytelling and dogs
from Columbus and Ruby
I’m from Reader’s Digest and gospel music
From “You’re the oldest, set the example”
and “take care of your precious self”
I’m from Jesus Loves Me, red-letter Bibles, put your offering in the plate
I’m from the riverside and the shipyard
from collards with hot pepper vinegar and carrot cake from scratch
From my father’s crew-cut ever since his head was pierced
by a friend’s cleats in a childhood game of deer and dog,
from three translucent pink moles on Grandma’s chin.
In trunks and in closeted boxes my grandmother’s painstaking albums
rest atop layers of loose photos, paper strata of many eras.
I am etched deep in this phosphorite, the living reliquary
of all the stories.

5 thoughts on “I am from poem

  1. All the specific things you are from make you who you are . Gardenias are my favorite. They are booming now, so I’ve been keeping a vase full to scent the house. Yum carrot cake from scratch. Once I ate so much that I got sick and couldn’t eat carrot cake again for years. Thanks for the reminders and sharing this form.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poem is beautiful! I especially like the lines, “I am from gardenias/from towering Eastern Pines/heavy boughs whispering/waving to me like a vertical green sea. Love the personification and the simile. After seeing this form on Margaret’s blog I wrote a I Am From poem. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Fran, no I don’t have a blog, though I have thought about creating one. It means so much to me that you love to read my poem. My I Am From poem is still a draft, but I would love to share it with you. Can I email it to you?

        Liked by 1 person

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