I Grew Up

July 28, 2008
By Amber McIntire, Gridley, CA

I Grew Up

I grew up
in cordial, cloudless summers
in damp, snowy winter holidays
in tall grasses and acres of orchards
in evergreens and white patches covering the yard
in the pit of a dry and waterless valley
in the ever-so soft whisper of the pasty-summit mountains
in a no-one-knows place that I call home
in a petite, slow-paced town that my parents call home.

I grew up
in a snoring sanction
in the wheezing of a smoker
in a honking, raucous, rule-breaking generation
in an engraved future just for me
in the sharp snap of a hand across my behind
in the nauseating fate of teen drinking and drugs
in the lemon-rose of my grandmother’s garden
in the forever forgiving shadow of an older sister
in the dank, abrasive sound of rap music
in the soft, cushioned life of a home.

I grew up
in a well-supervised vicinity
in a room that was never more than cream-colored
in a morning with “I love you”
in a night with “I love you too”
in the meantime of a beginning war
in spite of no growing spurt
in the bellowing, nonstop songs of my sister
in the soothing sound of my mother’s soft voice
in the command of my father’s strict, yet comforting voice
in the ruining thunder of my older cousins
in the lilac, translucence of my friends
in the support of all of the above.

I grew up
in not just one town
in two towns
in which I call both home
in the safeness and polish of my hometowns
in which I hold so dear and close to my heart.

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