Where I’m From

I’d like to share a poem I came across many years ago that has become part of my collection of favorites. George Ella Lyon is an American author from Kentucky who has published several genres, including picture books, articles, juvenile novels, and of course poetry.

I am from clothspins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it taste like beets.)
I am from forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I'm from fudge and eyeglasses,
      from Imogene and Alafair.
I'm from the know-it-alls
      and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I'm from He restoreth my soul
      with a cotton ball lamb
      and ten verses I can say myself.

I'm from Artemus and Billie's branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
      to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments--
snapped before I budded--
leaf-fall from the family tree.

(In case you were wondering, that very last line is what caught hold of me, lol. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!)

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a β€œG-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

63 thoughts on “Where I’m From

  1. What a deep and treasured poem Tammy. πŸ’– The author dug deep into their existence and what they discovered from where they came produced their overall being, who they became from who/what they were. Deep and powerful. I can see how you connected to that last line. I think we all can. Thanks so much for sharing something so personal that you hold dear to your evolution.

    Have a FANtabulous day my dear! 😍 πŸ₯° 😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks big Sis, I’ve been having such a rough time lately since reuniting with long lost relatives, that I haven’t been able to focus. this was a last minute share that sums up what I’ve been feeling the last two weeks. I’m worn out, but in a good way, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well girlfriend, you hang in there. I was talking to one of my first cousins this week who just lost another sister to COPD a week ago. We talked about the illusion of what we thought we saw in familial relations growing up, and what actually is underneath those relationships. It can be exhausting as you said and can leave us somewhat bewildered.

        As my cousin so lovingly reminded me, you can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family! Oh my!!! Hang in there sista’ and get some rest! Have a awe-inspiring day! 🌞 🌺 🌟 Smooches!!! πŸ₯° πŸ’‹πŸ˜˜

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You as well. Every day I say I’m going to email you, but I don’t have the energy to stare at this computer long ( and I thought I had a virus of something this week and my computer was broke), but the kids came to the rescue to inform me my wi-fi was just slow due to all the wind, lol. It’s ok if you laugh at me too, they did. Everything is actually going great, just digging and learning more about family is mentally draining. I pray all has been well with you Queen.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sweetie, you need not explain anything. You are good. I know how finicky these computers and that Wi-Fi system can be. I too have the exact issue with slow speeds, but I just take a breath and work on something else. I’m always multitasking for some strange reason!!! LOL 😝 🀣 😜

        We’re doing well here and pray that you and your family are too. It’s always something strange and unusual going on, but I just look at those things with a raised eyebrow and say…Child please! 🀨 Any who, look to this week with great expectation. I understand how trying it is to trace your genealogical roots and it can be taxing, but I know how I too felt going through loads of research. But somehow, when you find out some historical fun facts, it’s really rewarding. You just continue to add more to your story! πŸ₯‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You go Miss Octopus!!! πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™ While we know we need to stop multitasking (is that voluntarily possible?) it just shows your dedication to getting the job (whatever job it may be) done. I think that we are influenced by our foreparents, because so much needed to be done before the sun set.

        What we have to do is to learn how to relax more and if that means letting some stuff or folks go…well, then so be it! Go on and live your best life QT!!! πŸ‘‘

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of this poem before but I like it and love the author’s offering of glimpses of her childhood and the moments, good and bad, that shaped her into who she is. To me, it reinforces the steps that we’ve taken, good and bad, help make us who are and are what makes us unique and special. Thanks for sharing that!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I sure get tracing our ancestors. I have been on a somewhat similar journey for a few years now learning about a lot of our Black History. It has been a eye opening experience. I have luaghed, cried, gotten angry and just went numb from some things I have learned.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww. Keep writing poetry because I’m getting a feeling that you have a lot to share and your expression through words is great! From reading that poem, I could make out this ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

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