Each person’s history is unique, and forms who they are in complex, beautiful ways.  We’ve been talking about this in my Multicultural Education class, and one of our assignments is to perform a piece of poetry about where we are from.  Here’s mine so far.  Please let me know what you think–and where you’re from :)


I’m from the mute sides of the room,
The quiet, the invisible,
The “Please don’t let them call on me!”
From the dance of a pen
Flowing across fresh, crisp paper,
From the familiar pages of my very first thesaurus,
My fifth-grade treasure.
And Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind,
And love your neighbor as yourself.”

I’m from the Wetzel-Wangler families:
The forty-odd people—
The forty odd people;
From the hum of a crochet hook defying the law of entropy,
Making order out of chaos;
From the huge orange tree in Grandma’s backyard
With the best fruit in the entire world.
From puppet shows with cousins that never went as planned,
And Psalm 118: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever.”

I’m from my dad:
“Duct tape fixes everything;”
Weekends working at NHRA;
From laying tile, pouring concrete, scraping stucco, pulling muscles;
From California burning in the fall,
While my dad’s out there somewhere, joining the other firefighters;
From fishing in Big Bear with chips and grape soda,
And Isaiah 40:31: “Those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.”

I’m from my mamma:
“You can do anything you choose to do;”
Sneaking bits of biscuit dough from under her floury hands;
From, “Home-made is best,”
And always taking care of others before herself;
From devouring new books in a day
And the rhythmic rattle of the sewing machine,
And John 8:32: “You will know the truth,
And the truth will set you free.”

I’m from dancing with my sister in the rain,
Chalk, jump ropes, and Disney movies,
Second-hand cars and clothes,
Skim boarding at Newport Pier on New Year’s Day,
From Luther and Calvin’s Protestant legacy,
Sister nights watching Jane Austen and Superhero movies,
Fancy tea parties with dolls and lemonade,
And Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
And I will give you rest.”

I’m from the dusk:
The peaceful hush when the sun first sinks,
The deep breath after a long day,
When a chorus of crickets silence the roar of traffic,
And despite living in twelve houses in twenty-two years,
Anywhere in the world can feel like home.
And most of all, I’m from John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world He gave His only Son,
That whoever believes in Him should not perish
But have eternal life.”

This is where I’m from.

One thought on “I’m From

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