I Am From…

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The “I Am From” poems were a big thing a couple years ago, but this popped up as a distance learning assignment from for my daughter this week. And I thought, Hey, I never had time when these were all the rage. I don’t really have time now, either, but I need a break and this will be fun!

(Hint: it’s harder than it looks.)

I present:


I am From….
Kathleen M. Basi

I am from long walks on the farm, from home-grown vegetables and meat and from-scratch cooking.

I am from the fields and woods and hay barns

(the wind in the silver maples, dust drifting on the air, the roar of the grain dryer and the not-fragrance of livestock riding the west wind)

I am from Grandma’s peonies, so heavy they fall over every spring,
impossible to mow under, and a one-acre lawn,

and from watching the sunset from the corrugated tin barn roof.

I’m from popcorn and soda on Sunday nights and jumping off hay bales, from talking to the Big Dipper through my window and a playground of farm equipment.

From the tree house where I read Ellen Tebbits

and the front porch where mosquitoes bit and cats nuzzled and stories were born.

I am from Grandma Anna’s player piano and Grandma Bernadine’s cinnamon rolls,

from the “one activity per child”s and the “if you want it done right do it yourself”s.

I’m from it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt and never go anywhere without your ID.

I’m from Midnight Mass followed by Christmas morning Mass, from all-three-nights-of-Triduum, choir practices on Wednesday nights, the soaring ceilings and the sound of the flute carrying over the arches.

I’m from north of town and south of the lake and related to everyone in the state of Missouri,

from fried chicken and the only potato salad in the world worth eating,

from the day Mom scared the rooster to death and the day the hay wagon shifted and split Dad’s head open.

There was a steamer trunk in the basement, still reeking of coal smoke a hundred years on, and a drawer in Grandma’s house I never knew held World War II ration coupons,

and a file box studded with burned matches, guarding the record of generations of German immigrants—lives lived fully, eventually to give birth to mine.

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