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Where I'm From

I am from the mud on my jeans,
from the Windex that makes the light shine through,
I am from the chair in the garden,
(getting more weathered each day)
I am from the wild blackberry bush,
the syrup-sweet juice bursting on my tongue,
The prick of the occasional thorn finding its way into my thumb,

I'm from tuna fish sandwiches and soccer cleats,

from the Windy City and summer trips to Elk Rapids,
I'm from the art-aholics,

the art critics
from "shhh"'s to "tag, you're it"'s,
I'm from early mornings in church,
my brothers standing stiff from the starch put in their clothes,
from Sunday school,
and Mrs. Pompee,

I'm from the Left Bank and the town square,
madeline cookies and sugar-free mints,
from the blood that makes my grandfather's face turn red from anger,
the benevolent smile my mother always wears,
I am from my father's strong shoulders,
which have carried my weight and the world's,

I'm from the box I found in the basement,
still blanketed with dust,
filled with portraits of my various family members,
A blank frame,
waiting to be filled with my features.



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