WHERE I’M FROM, WHERE I’LL GO
I am from romantic novels,
raven-haired heroines, creature comforts,
from gingham and fireplaces.
I am from the suburban mall (or country store)
it smelled like cigarette smoke and wet wool
(or mulled cider and autumn leaves)
I am from the mulberry tree
the weeping willow
sweeping the earth
and feathering the sky.
I’m from cream in my coffee and wooden matchsticks,
from Martha’s and Stevens’.
I’m from the Pineapple
and talk story,
from feeling sorry for yourself and mad at the world.
I’m from it’s the end of the world,
it’s not the end of the world,
and every book between.
I’m from the nation’s capital and capital nations,
Polynesian poi and Norwegian Northern Lights.
From the sea faring and warring,
the submarined father,
his side of the family surfacing fully later.
In the mailbox arrived a box of photographic slides
revealing a birth-marked boy in arms,
an older sister sympathizing
for a brother and mother
that outlived her.
I am from Eegie and Scudgy,
Grannyguts and Granddaddy,
Hank Daddy’s apple orchard mother and cranberry cocktail father.
I’m from old divorces and new siblings,
from the Armageddon aunts and the out of step–
the thick split pea soup, instant coffee, and ham radios
the thick accent, instant violence, and rancid grease
the thoughtful Easter baskets and pet treats…
to their heirs –
paper dolls, a comic book hero –
storybooks in the making.
I am a story being written,
writing of where I’m from,
writing of where I’ll go,
turning new leaves in my book of life.