I am from
I am from Virgin Marys in porcelain and Saint Francis of Assisi’s in concrete
I am from chipped china and homemade cocktail sauce
I am from reading nooks and Picasso prints, arguments about the battle of Gettysburg and Scotch on the rocks.
I am from Bing Crosby records and cutting strong coffee with cream
I am from Broadway playbills and snipped holly branches
I am from Latin prayers and midnight mass, frosted mountains and deep sloping yards
I am from cousins arm-in-arm, dripping mac and cheese and hidden Easter eggs in lamp shades.
I am from sailor suits and dads at the head of the table
I am from tattered leather prayer books and taped-up picture frames
I am from rotary phones and rubber bands stored in drawers
I am from manger scenes and baby grand pianos out of tune.
I am without you now. I am all because of you.
© Melissa Currence 2015
I wrote this poem as part of an challenge poised by Ally Vesterfelt at the first Tribe Conference this past weekend in Franklin, Tennessee. This writing exercise originated with George Ella Lyons and has been written countless times.
As I was writing, I was picturing my grandmother’s house, which we had to dismantle after she passed away in 2012. I miss it still.
Have you tried this exercise? I’d love to know!