Saturday, October 11, 2008

where i'm from

Lauri had this on her blog and I loved it.  You can look at her post to see where to get the form to do your own poem and read other poems by other people.  They are all cool.  I will probably work on mine some more, but this is what I have so far.

Where I'm From

I am from cigarette scented pickups.  From black and white TV and

Pyrex bowls – yellow for the popcorn and red for the Jell-o.

I am from the squeaky, the dusty, and paneled. 

From three bedrooms, green carpet, and doors that open

by themselves. 

From room to roam and dirt and trees. 


I am from swinging in a tire,

playing Wonder Woman

and Barbies.

Reading in the sun, drawing and

listening to John Denver.

Cowboys and Indians and

hide-and-seek in the dark.

From piano lessons,


and Christian school.


I am from cherry trees, grapes vines and rhubarb. 

From pony hair, cat hair and chicken feed. 

Gardens and worms and wild asparagas.

I am from reunions, Rosehips, and

big feet. 

From Vera and Delmas and Beryl.  Two girls and four girls and one boy. 

The end of the line.


I am from the teasing and the stoic.  I am from praying and bickering

and loving. 

From I’ll give you something to cry about and

if your friends wanted to jump off a cliff… 

I am from Jesus saves and lots of rules. 

From Sunday morning,

 Sunday night,

Wednesday night. 

From loving the least of these and everlasting life.


I’m from Pueblo and the Arkansas Valley,

 from the dust bowl and a soddy. 

From ranches, farms, and railroads. 

From Macaroni and cheese and Chicken and dumplings,

bread without salt and canned apples.

Frozen Kool-aid, Banquet chicken and Cheerios.

From the illegitimate son of a sailor, The War of 1812,

and an orphan raised by natives. 

A bronc - bustin', homesteading grandma.  

A migrant worker grandpa.  A WWI vet who just missed hitting the frontlines

 and survived the epidemic.


I am from heart attacks, brain cancer, and aneurisms.

From strokes and ninety-five years.

I am from old scrapbooks, grandma’s stored-away boxes,

from funeral receipts, birth bills and marriage licenses stuffed

in a bag.  And

memories that need to be mined before it’s too late.



  1. I love it! These are such fun to read. I love the end about the memories that need to be mined.

  2. Thanks Lauri! I changed it since you read it!

  3. This is really good and touching as well. I believe you have the soul and/or nature of a poet.


  4. I loved this. This is a great picture of you growing up. Wonderful.

  5. This so creative and awesome!! I love it!! :)

  6. I hope the rest of you will do it, too! I would love to read yours. You will have to go to Lauri's blog to get to the fill-in -the -blank form though. for some reason, I can't open it on my computer or I would give you the link myself.

  7. Dear Kay,

    I love the rich history in your poem--how you see yourself coming from all those stories that bore you as well as from your own.

    I'm the poet who wrote the original WIF poem (more about this on my website, and I wanted to let you and your readers know that you don't really need that template. I didn't make that up. It's fine if it helps get you started, but everybody has the ability to write a poem without it.

    When I invite folks to write a WIF poem, I just read them mine and then suggest they list experiences they're from, pick the ones they like best, arrange them and add a closing statement. They could do it from reading your poem as easily. Anybody can make a list! But most people don't know they can write poems.

    You can do this with a group, too, taking a line from everybody and putting them together to make a collective poem. I've done it in workshops and I know folks who've done it at family reunions, with church groups, etc. It's a powerful embodiment of how we're all connected.

    I live in Kentucky but went to graduate school in Arkansas, where my grandmother was born, so we share some of the same roots. I have two kids--the youngest in college-- and make my living as a freelance writer and teacher.

    All best wishes,

    (Ms) George Ella Lyon

  8. Thank you George Ella, (I love the name Ella!) for reading my poem. I had read yours before I made mine and it is beautiful.
    I've already decided to write a series of them; one specific to my environment, another specific to family, another to social and education, another to religion, etc. There are too many memories to fit in one poem!!

    The Arkansas Valley I am referring to has to do with the river, it is an area of farmland in Colorado, actually. It took me a bit to figure out the connection you were making. :)

  9. Excellent, picturesque, visual, and thoughtful. Good job.

  10. I didn't understand the Vera, Delmas, Beryl, number of children, etc. End of the line. ?

  11. Vera, Delmas, and Beryl? That's who I'm from. I could have added Leo, but it didn't sound right.

    2 girls - me and Julie, dad's two sisters.
    4 girls-you and your sisters
    1 boy - your brother, dad
    end of the line - no more Hennises

  12. Neat Kay - think I will try this soon.

  13. Kay, A funny thing from your poem is that me and my brother sometimes play hide-and-seek in the dark, and I don't mean back then, because we're still kids!

    God bless!

    Robin's daughter


I love to hear your thoughts!