Where I'm From
I am from neighborhood streets sizzling in the sun, from Yardley Soap, and from the quiet of a sunset over an old farmhouse.
I am from the black and white house, third one on the right, filled with the laughter of three little girls and the smell of cinnamon toast in the morning.
I am from the roses, the violets, the pansies blooming in our backyard as we searched for fairies among the leaves at dusk.
I am from hayrides in that old blue pickup and stubborn-as-a-muleness, from Colleys and Kowaliks, from Nell and Deborah who said what they thought and loved without ceasing.
I am from not keeping my mouth shut and speaking the truth, shouting so all could here.
From the ladies in green hats peeking out between flowers and only putting three things on your plate at the church potluck.
I am from staunch, fire-in-the-belly believers who built their church under an old oak tree and were washed in the blood of Amazing Grace.
I'm from the River City and an old Polish town, from fajitas grilling as mariachis play and sausage frying in a pan in an airless kitchen.
From the fears of two brothers checking trotlines past dark, the long legs of the aunt I only met once, the "Wild Man" grandfather who jumped over fences and caught rabbits by their ears.
I am from quilt-covered beds, the yellow house on Vinecrest, and the smell of the wooden secretary when it is opened every few years, like the pages of a treasured book.