I Am From

When my girls were in middle school, one of their assignments was to write a poem titled “I Am From.”  I’ve saved those poems, and I still read them. I always loved the idea of a piece that was a word collage of memories.  In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve written my own “I Am From” poem.  Thanks Mom, for everything.



I am from…

a third floor walk-up apartment

fuzzy memories of

a large kitchen sink

and a noisy parakeet

I am from…

a red Ford Falcon

black vinyl seats

with a particular smell

on a rainy day

I am from…

a house built

from my grandfather’s workshop

the steel beam along the ceiling

of our living room

was where he made his boats

I am from…

an address not on a map, a paper street

special directions to follow at the dead end

a house on a hill, generations of Gardners

I am from…

daffodils and azaleas and marigolds

a pink dogwood tree

prize purple and yellow irises in the front yard

I am from…

a bedroom I chose

with an East-facing window

the one on the left

we painted it blue

I am from…

bunnies in the back yard

a yard filled with cousins

my Gram as my neighbor

countless hours of kickball

hide-and-seek, and mudpies

I am from…

Sunday dinners at Grammy and Boppa’s

beef braciole and fresh bread from Bonazinga’s

games of Scrabble I could never win

games of football on TV and a cat on your lap

a dollhouse

I am from…

rides to the tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree

always sure to be too big

the special ornaments wrapped in old tissue

the tangle of lights, the strands of lead tinsel

I am from…


crock pots lining the buffet table, too much meat and cheese

eating whatever you want

and opening “just one” gift on Christmas Eve

I am from…

letters to Santa and the Easter Bunny

decorating eggs through my college years

and egg hunts until I was almost too old

I am from…

homemade Chex Mix and spritz cookies

crispy cornflake chicken and mashed potatoes

making the salad and setting the table

sitting down to dinner together

I am from…

vacations in the camper

grilling, campfires, s’mores, beaches, sun burns

trips in the old blue van, mismatched bench bolted to the floor

weekends at the flea market

spring cleanouts and colorful characters

I am from…


and Love



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