Many students in the U.S. are familiar with a delightful poem by Kentucky poet George Ella Lyon because she has allowed a template of hers to be copied online. I just returned from a visit to my hometown where I visited the Johnstown Flood Museum, so maybe this is why I’m thinking again of where I’m from.
I am from a tee-totaler and a flag waver
I am from 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 he always wanted two little girls and a white picket fence
and she wished he’d not spend so much on flowers.
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
and 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
who struggled to give me safety and opportunity.