I am from the lake,
spending my summers of fishing with friends.
I am from backyard baseball with the boys from the neighborhood,
and pick-up basketball on the blacktop on sunny days.
I am from the diamonds in Cooperstown, NY,
the smell of fresh-cut grass, and “You’re Out!”
I am from picking up sticks for nickels in Grandma’s front yard,
going to retrieve our green chairs in the neighbor's yard after a storm.
I am from nights in the family room playing card games,
Texas Hold ‘em, Speed, and UNO.
I am from family gatherings for no particular reason,
the smell of my Grandpa smoking his pipe—
leaving a smell in the carpet that still lingers today.
I am from the ten years of Grandpa living with us.
The stories he hasn’t forgotten,
from his days playing on the football team to the castles in Puerto Rico...
(while he struggles to remember what he ate for breakfast.)
I am from the dreaded Friday morning workouts before school,
wind-sprints on the field during summer and the scorching afternoon practices.
I am from the sleepless Thursday nights and the jitters at school on game day,
failing to focus on schoolwork.
I am from the chilly breeze and excitement in the crisp fall air,
and the roar from the fans under the lights of Camp Randall.