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 hide-and-seek,

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 idealism,

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.