Where I'm From
I am from sand dollars and Sea and Ski
and the whole world contained in a tidal pool.
I am from overdue library books and Oreos
and tea parties after school.
I am from a tiny Riverside kitchen, abundant in love
and molasses-filled biscuits.
I am from squeaky screen doors and sun-dried linens
and the golden promise of forsythia.
I am from the wild tangle of honeysuckle
the salt-cured planks of the pier
the cool green sanctuary under the willow tree.
I am from walks by the ocean and foolish pride,
from Lilla and Thelma
I am from mule-headed stubborn and talking too much,
from singing along and dancing fools.
I am from Murphy was an optimist and bless your heart.
I am from the best part of the day.
I am from Jesus loves me
just as I am.
I am from dinner on the grounds and I'll fly away oh glory
and Jesus Christ Superstar.
I am from Edgecombe County and the muddy Tar,
from forbidden dunes and the endless Atlantic.
I am from ham biscuits,
butterbeans shelled this morning
and Pop's peach ice cream.
I am from the girl who sang with the band
and won the heart of the soldier,
from the milkman's daughter and the man with no voice
(he loved to fish).
I am from pirates and poets and painters
All of the gifts; none of the glory.
I am from Mason's shrine and Granny's cedar chest,
from Daddy's photographs and Tracy's poems.
I am from crocheted blankets, delicate as lace,
from cut-glass dishes and perfectly seasoned cast-iron skillets.
I am from familiar melodies and forgotten secrets
and a million grains of sand.