I am from the reddest unripened apple,
one part mystery, one part innocence lost.
From the cobwebs in dark corners
to the dust bunnies under bed skirts
I am my mother’s best life lesson.
I am from secondhand sunflower dresses
and well-worn Mary Janes, in brown.
I am new roots from the old country,
vine-ripened and plucked with care
in due time by seasoned, ancient hands.
I am from cotton candy sunsets, from ice
cream and leftover pizza for breakfast.
I’m a little girl trapped in a woman’s body,
always imagining, often contemplating,
usually adding an extra bow for good measure.
I am from swaying hackberry branches,
from barefoot races and sincere embraces.
I’m the love child of faith that surpasses
understanding; I talk back to those mountains.
Upon remote rooftops I breathe energy into
constellations before they fade into oblivion.
I am not definable by worldly conventions:
a cupped hand without end, a gift box
without edges, a heart without boundaries.
From the oppression that held
the working class back, I’m the one
who pushed to run harder, to run faster.
I am the bridge between two great bodies
and I drink from the river of life
that I might stand in the gap which bonds
my ancestral roots with the ones
reaching into the wind before their time
of bloom. I’m a seed fallen from the mouth
of a raven, and once returned to the earth
I’ll leave a legacy that will pepper the world.
Original work Where I’m From blended with new ideas developed in the 2012 Meadow Brook Writing Project. Inspired by the poem with the same name by George Ella Lyon.