IMOGENE’S NOTEBOOK

Where I’m From is Not a Place

A poem

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

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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.

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Patrick Metzger
Imogene’s Notebook

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