My brother just started his senior year in high school (WHAT IS GOING ON), and last night he sent me a copy of a mini-project he had to do for English. Seniors at our high school always write a "Where I'm From" poem, as a kind of reflection on their growing up years and the way they became who they are today. I loved Luke's, and it inspired me to rewrite my own version of the poem. So here it is! Where I'm From
I am from red dirt fields and the white farmhouse,
From the WAC and Roberson’s.
I am from Red Light, Green Light on the stairs
And the John Deere swing on the side.
I am from cotton and barley soup,
From giant family dinners
Along the big table in the room with the bird clock.
I am from red brick and the stairs I finally got.
I am from tall trees and built-in shade.
I am from sitting on the back porch with Mama and Daddy –
He reads the paper and drinks his coffee black,
She chats with me and watches the light change.
I am from playing pretend in the backyard:
Everything is magic in my mind.
I am from learning to throw a baseball
But having a noodle arm.
I am from lessons around the dinner table
And from church chairs.
I am from chores and the value of hard work,
From “He that does not work shall not eat.”
I am from movie quotes and ridiculous sayings,
From great success and next suggestion,
From purposeful misnomers
Until you forget what the thing is actually called.
I am from a love language of teasing –
Be ye warned, you will never live it down.
I am from made-up songs that never get out of your head.
I am from laughter and fun and dancing in the kitchen,
From merciless mocking, but all in love.
I am from the joyous laughter of being always safe.
I am from the sky,
That vast, beautiful expanse, stretched out
So that when you drive on the flat highway
You can see its entire length and breadth.
I am from the bigness of the heavens.
I am from God’s brushstrokes across the endless, deep
Canvas that is the sky,
Just like Him.
I am from the music:
The notes on the page
Transformed into life and breath.
I am from singing to feel,
From the sensation after a performance
When I feel like my heart will burst with joy.
I am from hard work born of a great love and a great dream.
I am from wells of emotion overflowing at a beautiful piece of music.
I am from sharing my soul with you through singing.
I am from the sunshine,
From looking up.
I am from a longing to live life
I am from a need for something bigger.
I am from timidity that needs more faith.
I am from a longing for adventure,
And I am from joy.