Where I'm From
I am from hardwood floors and handmade bunk beds,
From long countertops and oversized dinner tables.
I am from scrapbooks, family portraits, "artwork" of horses and dogs
And the vague memory of painting lessons that didn’t quite stick.
I am from baseball bed sheets and cowboy wallpaper,
From shared rooms and small closets.
I am from kale before it was cool and off-brand cheerios,
From bulk purchases and fend-for-yourself dinners.
I am from "Shouldn't you be in bed?" and "If mama aint happy aint nobody happy,"
From "Wait until your father gets home" and "Separate rooms, now!"
I am from middle names when you're in trouble, dreaded spanking spoons,
And wearing multiple layers of underwear to lessen the sting.
I am from faster last laps and hands up on defense,
From 4th quarters won and undefeated seasons.
I am from "Did your mom help you with this?"
And "Put away that book, we're not going over that in class today."
I am from sound advice and the man of the house,
From patience, wisdom, generosity, and faithfulness.
I am from the person who knows what's best and what's right,
From the winner of arguments and the loser of P.I.G.
I am from persistent patience and a quiver full of arrows,
From kindness, gentleness, meekness, and love.
I am from the person who knows multiplication tables and multiple
From the lover of her children and the fighter of her children's enemies.
I am from summers at camp and Christmases at home,
From games on a board, table, and court.
I am from matching pajamas on Christmas Eve
And wearing anything but those pajamas on Christmas Day.
I am from overly-active vacations and lazy nights in,
From every night is movie night and, “No, it’s my turn to pick.”
I am from something everyone can watch and fun for all ages,
From sharing blankets and pillows but popping your own bowl of popcorn.
I am from “trust your gut” and “you’ll know what to do,”
From advice that I’ve solicited and encouragement I have not.
I am from matching tattoos that we may one day get
And phone calls that continue from wherever we last left off.
I am from one of nine, then ten, now eleven.
From the more the merrier, or at least, the more the louder.
From an unlocked front door and an occupied back porch,
From the fullest of houses and a nest that will never empty.
Cover image by Phil Hearing.