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.