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Where I’m From – A Crowdsourced Poem

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Family photo of a picnic at my Grandmother’s house. She is in the plaid shirt looking toward the camera. 1965

I wrote an earlier blog about a workshop I attended centered around the poem “Where I’m From” written by George Ella Lyon. You can read that post by following this link.

I finally have my first version of that poem complete and as promised, I am sharing it here. It definitely gives you a taste of the way I grew up. After writing, I realized I could write this poem ten times over because it is impossible to include all the aspects of who I am in one short poem. But this does give you a window into what makes me who I am.

Maggie – Where I’m From

I am from worn-out Bibles and divinity fudge
From mimosa trees and bumblebees
I am from stringin’ beans and shuckin’ corn
and huddling around the Siegler stove.
I am from black walnuts
whose shells hid tiny faces with big eyes.

I am from valley creek and the baptizing hole
From Bertha Rose and Walter.
I am from minding your manners
and counting your blessings.
from hard workers and tall tale-tellers.
I’m from Peace in the Valley and Steal Away to Jesus

I am from Big Jim and Freida Mae
angel biscuits and chinquapins
from walking home after Sunday preachin’.
Faded faces of my family kept
tucked away in a Whitman’s Sampler box
still smelling of old chocolate.
From heart attacks and mistletoe and
stereo images of well-appointed ladies.

I am from those moments slowly slipping away
but forever in my DNA.

32 thoughts on “Where I’m From – A Crowdsourced Poem”

    1. John, it was a rather large oil burner (maybe 4′ high) with a round vent at the bottom where the blower blew out warm air. As kids, we would lie on the floor and dry our hair in front of the blower.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nice imagery. Also nice to see the back and forth about your memories. Bro? Happy to know you have continued with this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was my first poem, Willow. I know Lauren wrote two versions.

      I think I will stop with this one. It is a good picture of my foundation.

      Like

        1. No apology necessary, Willow. We read from so many different bloggers every day it is easy to mix it up. I have done this myself!

          Like

  2. I can picture it all from your words. My own ‘where I’m from’ couldn’t be more different. I might have to think about writing one of these, Maggie. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Pete, that would be interesting. There are many, many helpful tools online to gather thoughts and format a similar structure. I would love to read something like this from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely poem, Maggie with some wonderful imagery and I can see your childhood rolling past my eyes. It’s a brilliant exercise to do and I’ll use it with my writing group sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. It was a wonderful way to put myself back in that time and place. I appreciate your comment so much. I think this poem would be a great writing exercise. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

I appreciate those who read and I enjoy your thoughtful comments.

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