Where I’m From


January 31, 2012 by Kristen

I am from antique dressers, Clinique, and saline solution.

I am from the red brick house,
weeds creeping through cracks in the drive.
(smiling photography spot,
gut-wrenching goodbyes,
remembrance of caustic last words.)

I am from the flowering Bradford pear tree, whose leaves I hated picking up
and the cactus my “un-green” thumb caused an untimely death.

I am from reading the Christmas story out of a tattered King James Bible.
Being taught to work from an early age–
tossing newspapers as companion to a neighbor’s morning coffee
or wearing scuffed black shoes, with a hairnet for a crown.

From a goof ball theologian,
and my mother’s sword for a tongue,
An embarrassing name on the playground,
nonetheless a proud,
sturdy name,
now more desirable than great riches.

I am from a fluency in sarcasm
and family birthdays that last for hours plus another hour.
From “It’s another Red-Letter Day for the Kitti’s!”
and nurtured dreams of attending Harvard.

I am from earnest prayers of a father, with nights spent on his knees
Scripture read by my mother,
and a God with my name written on His palms.

I am from a 2-bedroom modest beginning,
before that the shores of Finland and roots I may always wonder about
sweet potato casserole and Mama’s Chicken Surprise.

From the Great-Grandma with twinkling eyes that made me march to Philip Sousa, the lemon tarts of Aunt Jeanne, and the sharp wit of a brother.

I am from an old shoebox, with letters & thoughts filed away.
Little pieces of my soul stuffed into drawers
and scrawled in tattered notebooks.
I am from kaleidoscope art,
beauty from the fragments.


One thought on “Where I’m From

  1. Knox McCoy says:

    SO good.

    “and my mother’s sword for a tongue,” Ha. I relate well to this.

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