I am from unhurried talkers and folktale weavers, from Sunday school-goers and jailhouse dwellers. I’m from Southern indirectness and civil religion, from Bless your heart and God’s on our side.
I am from wooden clothespins
and sheets smelling of sunshine.
I am from coal dust, home brew
and the company store.
From “be a sweet little girl”
and “that’s not ladylike.”
I am from Big Penn, Bahbra-Ann
and darling Brother.
From Grandpas that burned in the mine
I’m from the Air Force vagabond life,
the seven-schools-in-ten-years life.
From commissary groceries
and “Oh, say can you see” before the movie begins.
I’m from Little Golden Books and Green Eggs and Ham,
from the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
from Laura Ingalls Wilder and Trixie Belden by flashlight.
I’m from giving my life to Jesus during Mission Impossible.
I am from Mom’s sweet piety and Dad’s pack of smokes,
from John Three Sixteen and nickel slots at Tahoe.
I’m from hold-em-under baptisms and grape juice thimbles,
from lowbrow hymns and Evangelism Explosion.
I am from anxious and butterflies and nail-bitten hands.
From straight-A’s and can’t do pull-ups,
from “mentally gifted” and chubby thighs.
I’m from Goo Goos and Yoo Hoos and ice-cream-headaches.
From Vitameatavegamin and the Three Hour Tour.
From hot rollers and halter tops and green shag carpet.
And oh mama, I am from vinyl. From 33’s and 45’s
and a dime on the needle so it doesn’t skip. From Abby Road
and American Pie, from Doobies and Eagles and Carlos Santana.
I’m from the warm-bath ocean and the not-even-in-a-wetsuit ocean.
From Redneck Riviera and Giant Sequoias,
from orange blossoms and oleanders and Steinbeck’s vineyards.
From Louisiana lush and San Joaquin baked.
I am from open arms and waiting laps, from sugar baby,
sweetie pie and Love you before hanging up.
I’m from Give all of yourself you can to all of the Christ you know.
From Grace abounds
and from God’s got your back.
From Death, where is your victory?
and The greatest of these is Love.
I am from all of this and acres more.
But today, as leaves come down and memories rise up
and the bulldog sighs under the table . . .
what I’m mostly from is Gratitude.
This is part of the SheLoves synchroblog “I Am From”.
Jump in with your own story!
Thanks, Modenia. This was awfully fun to write. Nice name, btw.
G’ma Lucy’s middle name! Modenia! You are a gifted writer, Julie. You and Brother got all that talent & more!
Love Modenia! (And love that Mom didn’t name me that.) Thanks, cuz. You’re plenty talented yourself.
Love. Love. Love it.
Thanks so much, Cindy. I’m a big fan of yours!
Julie, how lovely! Very evocative of a lot of my background too. I love your writing!—-Jeanie
Thanks so much, Jeanie. That means a lot coming from a gifted writer-poet like you.
Yep, its so good it makes me want to write my own…and I’m sure I will real soon!
Debra, I would LOVE to read yours!
Wonderful! I can just picture (and hear) it! Garrison Keillor would like it, too, for his poetry reading on Writers County Almanac. What a gifted writer you are. Keep shining your light!
Jana, thanks so much . . . What an encouragement!
Love the line, “Give all of yourself you can to all of the Christ you know.” I feel I’ve heard this somewhere before (or something similar). Can you place the source? Keep writing 🙂
Thank you! The line isn’t original to me . . . I first heard it from a pastor years ago in San Francisco and have loved it since. I don’t know who first said it. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to respond. Blessings.