I Am From…

I’ve been reading books about writing recently, for inspiration about what to write on these blogs and for ways to improve my writing. I just finished “Writing to Change the World” by Mary Pipher. On pages 31-32, the author shared a poem she had written, exploring her identity and how she has been influenced by her past. I enjoyed the form so much that I’ve had a few of the Navajo students in my tutoring groups work on writing similar poems. Hopefully, I will be able to share some of those once they finish. For now, here is my version:

I am from Bob and June, Bessie Belle and Stanley, Deane and Grace.
I am from rural Minnesota and River City, Iowa, from slow moving Mississippi water to farm fields deep under snow.
I am from chicken noodle soup eaters and wieners in sauerkraut eaters, from groaning tables and popcorn-and-just-one-juice-glass-of-pop suppers.
I am from quiet civility and alcoholism, from don’t- show-feelings stewers and yellers and screamers.
I am from “SCRUT!” and “because I said so.”
I am from no-dancing-no-cards-but-Rook Methodists and from don’t-miss-church-if-the-doors-are-open conservative Christians,
from farmers, engineers, teachers, and wheeler-dealers.
I am from Schwinn girls’ bike, 1967 VW bug, and Sound of Music.
From guinea pigs, make-believe horses, swimming pool summers, cross-country travels and music-wherever-we-are.
I am from seasons changing along the Scioto River and maybe from the Old-and-Dingy, from maples and mulberries, roses and vegetable gardens.
From Mark Twain and Terry Pratchett, John Denver and Samuel Barber.
My own chaotic symphony playing before an audience of women in aprons and proper men in suits.