Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where I'm From

This happens to be a poem I often do with my elementary age students. I have several created class books of their Where I Am From poems....have always loved this exercise. Below is mine.

I am from speckled hills of color
Then covered with snow
Sleigh races, homemade mittens, bulky snowsuits
Puddles and wet clothes
Conversations with make believe friends
Pink bows and canopies
Cake batter and cookie dough
Sunday night Disney
Monopoly and Parcheesi

I am from visual breath on cold winter nights
Sightings of Santa through a star lit sky
HO trains traveling around the Christmas tree

I am from family around campfires
Sleeping bags and tents
Water skis, boats skidding over lakes
Easter bonnets and frilly dresses

I am from brother's antics bringing tears
Rocks baked in cookies
Boogey man faces through a window
Saint Bernards and German Sheperds

First Communions
then Kingdom Halls
To Hellfire and brimstone messages

I am from divorce and weekend visits
Step parent, brothers and sisters
Mobile homes and apartment buildings
Busy cities and polluted beaches

I am from teenage sin and temptations
Late night parties
Malls and first jobs

I am from broken home
and broken hearts
Mended with love and affirmation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This week we asked you to let narrative take a backseat. We asked you to step back into a significant moment in your life and bring us back the sensory treasures you found there, the feelings, scents, textures, sounds, tastes, and colors of the moment.

Last week a friend posted a story that took me back into a time in my that moment being on my mind became the moment I write about here.

The sun was just beginning to show a hint that it would be in the sky that day. In the driveway a brown 1978 Chevy Malibu stood, quiet and undisturbed. Connected, a small Uhaul trailer, the smallest you could find. Inside the home voices and tears floating just beyond the door. We affectionately called this and moments like it a "Puerto Rican goodbye". Not wanting to let go, not ready to move on.

He heads to the uhaul, opens for one last look, and closes it, the clank of the lock sounds so final. Inside the very few posessions coming along. Piled high, boxes of clothing, walkers with the wheels spinning for the baby, rails from the crib pushed against the wall. So little, yet so much.

As I wobble out the door, my stomach protruding in front of me, and two little ones latched to my hands on either side,  I can feel the emotions tied up within me. From my head to my heart, they are braided together, tying my thoughts into a threaded mess. Hope for new beginnings. Fear for leaving the familiar.

The final hugs are dampened with tear drops. I pull my face in close to hers, bury my nose into the scent of her freshly washed hair.  I lightly kiss her cheek and tell her all will be well.

The brown eyed, long haired little girl giggling as she is whisked into the arms of a grandparent, covered in kisses and hugged in dances across the pavement. Settled in and fastened into the back seat.

The freckled face blue eyed day dreamer is looking into the faces, trying to understand the emotions swarming around. Anxious to begin the journey he hops into the backseat on his own. Buckle slides in...and we draw near to the time.

As the sun climbs higher we know we need to move through the last motions of goodbye. Pats on the tummy and a whisper to the inside, "we'll come meet you soon."

I fall into the front seat and give my biggest hopeful smile out the window. He climbs in beside, eyes free of the emotion I know he is feeling.

We back out, and I don't look back. I look ahead. Ahead to the miles south...ahead to the unknown. I breathe in, breathe out. Feeling a kick inside my belly..... I lay my hand on it and smile. New beginnings.