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Where I'm From
I am from springs that feel more like summer,
Filled with days spent picnicking in the backyard.
I am from running in City Park, chasing the squirrels to the best climbing trees
And swinging on the swings for hours and hours,
The effortless rhythm back and forth sends gusts of wind into my face.
I tilt my head back and watch the brightness of the day give way to the arrival of night.
I am from learning to peel crawfish for the first time and the confident feeling that proceeded this achievement, I look up to the face of my beaming grandfather as I hold the whole tail triumphantly in my hand.
Fridays during Lent never really felt complete without a smorgasbord of the bright red creatures sitting on the table awaiting our arrival from school.
I am from humid, steamy summer days packed with bike rides around the block and stocking up on Off spray for the pesky mosquitoes that always cause a nuisance during the most inopportune times.
The sweltering summer days turn into all-nighters under homemade tents constructed in our den where my sisters and I play games of make-believe and plan the next day’s events.
I am from dressing up and putting on shows with my sisters which showcased a variety of talents, from singing to dancing to puppetry, we always tried to outdo each other, but in the end we worked together to deliver an enjoyable show for the audience.
I am from nights where the thunderstorms were so bad that we all wound up cowering in my grandmother’s room to wait it out,
And when the weather left us in the dark, we made the best out of the situation by gathering all the flashlights we could find and played shadow puppets until the lights came back on.
I am from long car rides that felt like they would never end,
But the eventual arrival to the beach made all the anticipation worth it in the end.
We play in the briny waters of the beach by jumping over the foaming waves,
Sometimes we would even sit in the water and wait for the upcoming waves to pick us up and carry us back to the shore.
The white, grimy sand always stuck to the bottom of our feet as we head back to the car.
I am from “art and crafts camp” with Mrs. Norma and learning magic tricks from Mr. Augie.
After the fun of summer fades, I am from the reluctance of fall, where the return of school friends is the only thing I look forward to.
I am from birthdays celebrated at The Empress of China, and being treated like a princess for the whole day.
Kisses from Mimi are always the best medicine for scraped knees and elbows,
And assorted-flavored lollipops always have miraculous healing powers after getting a painful shot from the doctor.
I am from a place where the phrase, “Don’t touch” only peaks curiosity and heightens the interest even more.
I am from winters that fluctuate between sub arctic and smoldering temperatures,
And sock tans that have still yet to disappear.
Christmas Eve is spent at mass and then Mrs. Norma’s famous Christmas party,
The aroma of delicious food can be smelt from the driveway of her house.
After we leave her house, we fill the night with our favorite Christmas stories as we try our hardest not to fall asleep before the sun rises to greet that greatly anticipated morning.
We wake up and dive into the sea of presents that await us in the living room around the tree.
I am from ringing in the New Year with Shirley Temples, various noisemakers, the sound of fireworks popping in the sky, and the air around us becoming hazy and opaque from the spectacular display of sparks.
I am from a family that is unique, quirky, and a bit strange, but they are the ones that have and always will be there for me—no matter what.
I am from New Orleans, and no matter where the world takes me, it will always be my home.