I Am From

It’s Tuesday and The Two Writing Teachers are inviting you to join them on their Slice of Life blog.  Feel free to join in!  

Today’s post was written as part of a course I am taking on race and racism. The poem: I Am From…, comes from Linda Christenson’s book: Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice.

I Am From…

I am from

A rather large family
Seven to be exact
Born to Teresa and George
58 years ago

I am from
A father, who was a hard working milkman
And a lover of gardens:
Corn, beans, radishes and more
He spent his Sundays polishing his shoes
and visiting flea markets
In search of more milk bottles to add to his collection

I am from
A mother who loved to make and bake
From sweet treats and halloween costumes
To the best penuche there ever was!
She spent her Sundays singing at the high mass
For she had the sweetest voice – like an angel
She loved to sing in minstrel shows and for wounded vets

I am from
Mechanic Street
Where we learned how to fish
And play capture the flag
We spent hours riding bikes along this street
Just being kids and having fun

I am from
A Church – Holy Angels to be precise
Where I received all my sacraments including matrimony!
I became part of the ones who chose to work on building a newer space –
St. Gabriel’s – a source of great pride

I am from
A large extended family
That used to gather for thanksgiving
60 plus relatives, 3 turkeys, bowls of stuffing,
And loads of pumpkin pie.
Time to play in the basement, creating plays and such
How I miss those days with people who have long since gone

I am from
A large clan of relatives that celebrate the fourth of July
Gathering in a big red barn, cleaned out for the day.
Eating Helen’s Swedish rye, and making our own lemon-orange sherbet
Cranking the handle ‘til our arms fell off, but enjoying every bite!

I am from
Old fashioned memories of Christmases long ago
Of silver- aluminum trees glowing with the light of the tri-colored wheel
Of midnight mass and stuffed dates
New pajamas and corny Christmas card poses
And spending the day visiting relatives across the city of Worcester

I am from
A marriage filled with love and blessings
For thirty two years of wedded bliss
Missing my man who lives on in my heart and
In the lives of our three wonderful children
And now in our two plus grandchildren

I am from
A loving family
That supported me when life was grim and gloomy
They gave me strength and hope
They filled me with endless love, laughter and peace

I am from

A grateful heart!

6 Replies to “I Am From”

  1. This is lovely and reminds me of “Where I'm From” poems, which I sometimes have students write in both English and speech classes. Your poem also reminds me that we are all so much more than what meets the eye.

  2. Impressive structure! I'm 58 and was raised Catholic too. Mom was a cook who loved watching Julia Child. Dad was a petroleum engineer who was good at calculus. I'll spare you the details of an index of Childhood PTSD that I developed and gave to a past counselor intern. I found myself through teaching Developmental English/Writing and ESOL.

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