I am from roast on Sundays, fish sticks on Wednesdays, and pizza on Fridays
from crocheted doilies, knickknacks, and picture-covered walls
and underlined, dog-eared, scribbled throughout Sunday School books, commentaries, and Bibles.
I am from the house across the street from the church,
the brick parsonage where the fenced back yard is safe,
the front yard is forbidden,
and the side ditch catches the projects' smashed beer bottles and broken hearts.
I am from the overgrown azalea bushes
who conspired with the blue and white checked curtains
to hide a first crush carved into the corner of the bedroom windowsill.
I am from the red, white, and blue swing set
who promised the glory of Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton
waited among imaginary revolutions tossed between her
and the ancient oak whose limbs I could never reach.
I'm from church and commitment
from humble parents and hero brothers.
I'm from Christmas never at home but always with family
and popcorn and coke with our shows after church
and from couch sanctuaries for strangers in need.
I'm from God made you for a purpose
and we're moving again
and Ebony and Ivory was just a song.
I'm from an old upright piano
where boys played and boys sung and boys taught
the sister music was more than notes on a page.
I'm from Arkansas by birth and Louisiana by heart
where pillbox hats, pearls, and white gloves fall in love
with drag races, shrimp boats, and jeans
and raise babies on catfish fried in backyards on camp stoves,
lemon icebox pies with graham cracker crusts, and Jesus.
She Loves Magazine is celebrating and exploring Heritage this month. This post is part of a Synchroblog using the "I Am From" poem template adapted by Levi Romero; Inspired by "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon.