Where I Am From

(Modeled after George Ella Lyon’s poem of the same name.)

 

Where I Am From

 

I am from elephant leg pants

from No More Tears shampoo and shag carpets

I am from pigtails and bruised shins

(concealed by mismatched knee-high socks)

 

I am from hatchbacks and large family gardens

from “there are no what ifs” and wrestling matches

I am from hippie parents

who believed in backpacking,

family dinners,

and frugality.

 

I am from beef strogonoff and whole wheat bread

from “Fat Bottom Girls,” “Rocky Mountain High,”

and “Go Your Own Way.”

 

I am from Elva and Albert; and Ann, Bill and Gary

I am from Friday night Parcheesi and Saturday block parties.

from Little House on the Prairie and The Bionic Woman

 

I am from schoolyard sprints, Barbies and bike rides

from egg salad sandwiches and girl scout badges

I am from snowball fights and aggressive boys

 

I am from a place far outside this bubble

of privilege and choice and equity

I am from the place of yellowed Polaroid photos,

unfiltered.

9 thoughts on “Where I Am From

  1. I taught high school creative writing for many years and this was one of my favorite pieces of writing to do with kids. I always shared mine and hers and then got them going. Most kids really flew with this one.

    Like

  2. Welcome to the Slice challenge! I love Lyon’s poem as a mentor text–have written from it many times in different classes I’ve taught and find that it always generates powerful writing. The quality of observation and detail in your piece is so strong. Your piece brings a certain time period and a certain set of values to life for me. Are your students writing from this poem as well?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the whole poem but I really loved these part: I am from Friday night Parcheesi …The Bionic Woman…girl scout badges. The objects we played with and collected and the fav TV show. I just loved that how I caned to be a teacher and how she started class by using her bionic arms to rip the telephone book in half!! Your poem gave me a chance to walk down the memory lane of my childhood!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love every line, but your “Fat Bottom Girl” stanza set the soundtrack to your writing–the songs are stuck in my head. This is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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