I Am From

I am from struggle
I am from patriarchy and from women who believed
it served them too

I am from sanctuary
I am from piano keys and lessons first forced and then loved
From dreamy notes turned crashing

I am from bunkbed games and being the first
to huddle in my nightgown
Over the heat vent before chores
I am from sisters

I am from Sunday potlucks
and jealousy
and christmas morning pj’s finding
knees next to the couch for family prayer

I am from all-nighter Risk marathons
from fake garage sales and Ace Ventura
I am from sneaking out at night
and summer camp love stories
I am from friends

I am also from freshly baked bread
From fragrant popcorn floating in hot cocoa
And turning cream into butter over my knee

I am from little white lies and falling dressers
and not knowing
where to put this goddamn napkin

I am from her
I am from anger
But also pride
I am from strength and sacrifice that I will
never understand

I am from starship bridges and rusty strewn farmyards
with lots of secrets too
I can find them while I find me


This poem was a writing assignment from the Find Your Writing Voice course that I completed with the amazing Allison Fallon.

The assignment takes you through your childhood images, memories, relationships, and feelings and helps you put those into a poem styled after the original George Ella Lyons poem “I Am From”.

Originally published at Womb & Hearth in June 2016.

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