Where I’m From

I am from mixtapes

from Sony walkmans and Tiffany's I Think We’re Alone Now.

I am from the maple trees

rooted, strong, limbs stretching to the skies.

I am from Lake Erie

whose waters invite me deeper into mystery.

I’m from Barbie and My Little Pony. 

From the Ehms and the Knowles.

I’m from Sunday afternoon backroad driving and weekday dinner at Mark Pi’s Chinese buffet.

From “Listen to your Mother” and “Don’t forget to wear your boots.” 

I’m from pot lucks, cookie exchanges, and stay-up-all-night lock-ins playing sardines and singing camp songs.

I’m from German Grandparents who came to America fleeing war, 

Marzipan, and NYC pizza you can fold in half. 

From the brass bell rung when Santa comes.

The Born To Be Wild leather jacket of my father

The china cabinet with three girls dancing and Delft plates.  

In a spare bedroom closet was a box with a manuscript

typed by my grandfather, a story waiting to be told

a legacy of words and hopes. 

I am from this tucked away manuscript, 

writing my own story.


// Inspired by George Ella Lyon

// You can listen to me read my poem here with my friend Alyson Shelton who has a series of Where I'm From Poems