WHERE I’M FROM
George Ella Lyons is a Kentucky poet whose original “Where I’m From” poem has been incredibly successful, copied by many students and would-be poets everywhere. I couldn’t resist adding my own version. (Look her up–she’s wonderful.)
I am from a teetotaler and a flag waver; a drummer boy from Boston
and a Pennsylvania farm girl salty tears lonely.
I am from pen pals and he proposed before they met
and a match made with postage stamps.
I am from foot washing, camp fires, Christians called “Dunkards”
and a boy who walked me two miles home and back.
I am from a disabled vet with a broken body
and Jesus is the Great Physician.
I am from “You’re not any better but you’re just as good”
and “Don’t play with fire or you’ll get burned.”
I’m from a two-bedroom house on Sunday Street and
the Johnstown Flood which happened again.
I am from steel mills and a city bus
Saturday rides to the downtown library.
I am from a writer-dreamer with no place to write and the girl
who was told “You don’t need college, you’re just a woman.”
I am from both – the dreamer and the disappointed farm girl
The quilt-maker and the weaver of words
who weave their dreams in me.