I come from

I wrote today’s poem in response to a writing prompt called “Where do I come from?” over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads The prompt idea came from the video above – a beautiful trailer for the documentary film We Are Poets. The prompt is one of many you can find there — part of an ongoing write-a-poem-a-day series during April for National Poetry Month.

I come from 

I come from flat lands, rows of corn in endless open fields
dark brown, rich soil and maple trees,
clear blue skies, puffy white cotton clouds, red Cardinal birds
sticky, hot humid summers, nights spent chasing fireflies
bomb pops and drippy Dairy Queen cones
“Shake your love” and “I think were alone now” on my hot pink cassette radio
metal swing sets and square swimming pools
games of Mother May I, hopscotch and kickball
freezing cold winters with frozen icicles, five foot snow drifts blocking the drive
sliding down mountains of white, tasting cold flakes and building fat snowmen
I come from Childhood and Home.
I come from heavy backstage curtains, dusty mustard yellow
a stage, warping from asbestos in the roof above
acoustic guitars, black and white piano keys
sheets upon sheets of lined staff paper, hymnals and black folders
hours upon hours of rehearsal, warm bottles of throat tea
I come from the Stage and Music.
I come from paperbacks and hardbacks, textbooks, bibles
memoirs and fantasies and adventures
journal pages smudged with pencil, stained with ink
jumbled thoughts, feelings, metaphors, sonnets – poems
I come from Stories and Dreams.
I come from the campus quad, broad sidewalks amongst oak trees
large, weathered buildings with small windows, claustrophobic practice rooms
a stone castle filled with strings and brass
nights spent in library shelves, studying in partitioned desks
sentences, phrases, quotes, paragraphs parceled together into
drafts – personal narratives, persuasive essays, critical analysis
I come from Study and Knowledge.
I come from a mother who packed lunches, drove to dance class
cheered at every performance, sewed clothes and colored pictures
a father who played Springsteen and Mellencamp, strummed his guitar
helped me with math homework, mowed lawn, washed cars and always 
kissed me goodnight.
I come from Family and Love.

8 thoughts on “I come from”

  1. This is a wonderful summation of all that has given rise to the person you are today. I felt nostalgic for my own childhood as I read your description.

  2. This is a wonderful poem, so filled with memories, both the small and larger one, I admire the poetry coming in early being a late bloomer myself… and the wonderful sense of a family with love.

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