A poem about childhood

comments 5


I have been taking a writing class online, which I have really enjoyed so far.  The first assignment was to brainstorm images and memories from early years, including visual, sensory, verbal, even musical memories. After including traditions, and important people, we were to write a prose style poem capturing the most important things that surfaced.   Here is mine, an exercise in self-discovery.

I am from

I am from deep woods, clear streams, camping under the stars snug against my sister, waking all dewy.

I am from Clorox-scented hands braiding my hair, polishing my ears, tying my hair bows: being loved.

From small rocking chairs holding freshly bathed sisters, watching Maverick on tv.

I am from fried chicken for dinner, pancakes for Sunday breakfast, church always.

I am from early morning goodbyes from Daddy for me alone, because I alone wanted them.

From wooden floors, an old-fashioned school desk, and bunk beds,

from hand sewn clothes, home cooked food, pipe smoke, ironed dresses.

From full ashtrays and martinis in the freezer,

from shouting and fear,

from hugs and kisses,

from you always knew we loved you.

I am from “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir”,

from Revlon hairspray and pimento cheese,

from ballet slippers, a piano in my room, and long bike rides.

From backyard woods, trees, and magical worlds,

from mossy fairy kingdoms which were mine alone,

from charades, coffee punch and smoked oysters on New Year’s Eve.

From climbing Eagle’s Peak and falling in the creek,

walks in the rain in rubber boots.

I am from “say the blessing”, Bible stories, and Jesus loves me this I knew.

I am from Woodhue perfume and wishbones.

I am from Girl Scouts, courage, and never give up.

I am from “two and two tenths”,

I am from pay attention to the world and quietness.

I am all of this and blessed.

The original building of Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, where I grew up.Peachtree Presbyterian Church

The Author

Imperfect follower of Jesus, wife to the greatest guy in the world, Mom to five wonderful grown children, and happy Nana to their ten littles. Having grown up in the Deep South, I retain a love for all things Southern. I became an amateur cultural anthropologist during a significant time living in SE Asia and still get to travel the world on mission and for fun with my sweetheart. I love asking questions, cooking for my family, helping women breastfeed, walking in the woods, eating biscuits, and having deep conversations about things that matter. On my wishlist are reading more, playing the piano, painting watercolor scenes, figuring out my awesome camera, and writing to soothe my soul.


  1. Carol says

    Holly, this is truly amazing! Your writing is a special gift and one that I am so glad you shared! I come from much the same world but could never put it so eloquently. I too grew up at Peachtree Pres so loved seeing the picture! I knew at Dykes that you would succeed and looks like you certainly have:) I know your family is so proud of you!


    • Thank you Carol! We all treasure our childhood memories, and they are the bank that we draw from the rest of our lives. It has been meaningful for me to remember these things in detail. Thank you for your lovely compliments!


  2. Pingback: Who is my audience? | A handful of quietness

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