I'm from being late for contests.
But, contest or no contest, I finally got around to writing the "I Am From" poem that so many have been having a good time with. I have to admit, this was a fun and touching stroll down my own memory lane.
I Am From
I am from knee socks, Hostess cupcakes
and black patent leather shoes worn home from the store.
I am from coast to coast, from everywhere and nowhere,
the child of a pilot and his bride. I am from base housing,
plain vanilla walls and Barbie clothes sewn from Thailand’s silk.
I am from holly hock dolls and walking to school,
from dandelion bouquets, from Alaskan glaciers and the sun
rising over the Atlantic on a Florida coast.
I am from summer car trips to Grandma and Grandpa's,
with stops to see Lookout Mountain and the Truman Museum
along the way.
I am from staid New England stock, from Indiana folks,
from John and Norma, Madeline and Jim.
I am from lightning bugs in the backyard
and the comforting scent of Noxzema.
I am from “Be polite” and “Do your best,”
and “Goodnight, John-boy” at bedtime,
from “I’m rubber, you’re glue,”
and from “Nuh-uh is not a word.”
I am from my squishy pillow at the drive-in,
from a six-year-old’s delight in the
dark, safe cocoon of the family car.
I am from Santa Claus and Easter eggs, dinnertime grace,
and from bedtime prayers that faded away.
I am from Germany and Wales, from homecooked meals,
decorated doll cakes on my birthday,
and home-sewn clothes
that made me proud of my mother’s skill.
From Grandma, who thought I loved peas
because I gobbled them up (just to get rid of them),
and from Grandpa, who convinced me
that a signal tower was his own private Christmas tree.
I am from my grandmother’s habit of smearing butter
on a scraped knee, and taking me to “the grocery”
no matter what store it was.
I am from Mom, who decorated the house for every holiday,
and took us blueberry hunting by the creek;
from Dad, who told me that thunder
was the giants bowling in the sky,
and whose hand holding mine is the only thing I remember seeing
when he returned from a year in Korea.
I am from Air Force brats bonding through a shared, strange life,
from a family who taught me without words that “skin color”
means nothing and “human being” means everything.
I am from nomads, from possibilities and from imagination.
I am from a longing for roots, found finally, and only, in God.