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Where I'm From

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I am from hushed cries and stomachs sore from laughter.

I’m from the exhausting days and nights in the Children’s hospital
hours of testing but the source of my seizures left unknown.
I’m from nerve-racking elementary school piano recitals
with sweaty, shaky, unsure hands and eyes focused on me.
I’m from my parents splitting up,
though I was too young to understand.

I am from the nights spent building blanket and pillow fortresses
fenced in by pools of lava.
I’m from summers spent with Jade and the neighborhood kids,
our clothes discolored from grass, our knees bloody from clumsiness.
I’m from bike rides to McCarty pool alongside my best friends,
skin stained with chlorine and sunscreen and minds clear of worries.

I am from moving to Hartland from my home city of Milwaukee,
with anger, resentment, and sadness pulsing through my veins.
I’m from starting high school at Arrowhead
drowning in unfamiliar faces.
I’m from slowly chipping away at my comfort zone
and gaining friends to take on high school with.

I am from adventures in the dark
Friday nights, frigid wind, and friends by my side.
I’m from listening to music at a deafening volume
and singing carelessly out of tune.
I’m from the drawer in my room that is overflowing with nostalgia:
old photos, collected tickets, and sloppy handwritten notes.

I am still from the hospital visits
the blanket forts
moving to Hartland
and the midnight adventures.
I am from hushed cries and stomach-aching laughter.

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