Where I’m From is Not a Place

A poem

Patrick Metzger
Imogene’s Notebook
2 min readJan 17, 2024


white guy sitting at Machu Picchu
Photo by author, 2003

I am from a long high shelf of books to be explored
from a dusty windowpane and a finger tracing on a dull day alone.

I am from an old red house in a new country
spirits hidden in shifting shadows and creaking floors
reeking of tobacco smoke
and rattling with the laughter
that keeps me safe.

I am from a rhubarb plant in the backyard
whose sour stems make the sweetest pie
and we remember her with every taste.

I am from a monogrammed tin money clip
(sentimental value only)
and a crest, with knife dripping blood
(reading I mak siccar)
from O’Fallons and Kirkpatricks and others
tillers of stony lands
no crowned heads here.

I am from humour and stubbornness
from curiosity and a wildness.

I am from a coffin ship, cast groaning into an angry sea
from a call to war, unwanted but answered.

I am from hard pews scented of incense and faith
from pancakes and sausages after mass.

I am from a boy, settled with restless mind on a quiet porch in summer
I am from the watching and the wanting.

I am from moments of warm nights and family, catching fireflies in jars
I am from learning that light captured is light extinguished
and that nothing can be held.

I am from this world, a man serious and stern, striding across oceans to save us all
And I am from a greater wisdom, laughing at that strutting child-self
but with kindness and forgiving
I must not forget to forgive.

I am from the light,
I leapt into this shadow world with joy
I am from you, my love, and you are from me.

Thanks to Debra G. Harman, MEd. for the prompt based on “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyons.



Patrick Metzger
Imogene’s Notebook

Dilettante, smartass, apocalypticist. ***See “Lists” for stories by genre.***