I am From

In Allison Vesterfelt‘s talk on Tribe Writers, she goes back to the basics with telling her audience of writers to reflect on where they came from to get in touch with their true voice. So often we write to build a platform, or to make money, or for an editor. But when can we say was the last time we just simply wrote from where we are and what we came from? Here’s an exercise she lead the group through that I tried out– it’s called an I Am From poem.
Here’s mine:

I am from cross stitched samplers and bubbling fish tanks

From ez mac after school and silver bear banks

I am from noisy heaters that pop and snap

From advent wreathes and windows with plastic wrap

I am from Dave Matthews and the Goo Goo Dolls

From disney store window shopping and senciled on walls

I am from nutcracker “guys” and Tom Chapin tapes

From homemade costumes and hand-sewn little red capes

I am from songs to wake me up and songs when mom gets home

From the blues in dad’s garage, from french braids and a fine tooth comb

I am from out of tune grand pianos and starburst jelly beans

From pop up trundle beds and oyster stuffing

I am from playing “catch”–a play fighting game that often ended in tears

I am from softball and track, and running races over these past 20 years

I am from all of these things and so much more

And I am glad of where I came from and glad for what’s in store

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