I am from glow-in-the-dark praying hands, from Ford, and Butterscotch the stuffed bunny.
I am from the house with a park in the backyard. Brown shag, swamp cooler, and the kitchen smells delicious. Then off-white tile, leaky roof, and the kitchen still smells delicious.
I am from the iris, the mulberry tree, and the stray cats.
I am from opening Christmas presents one at a time and from storytelling, from Sprout and Slivfka and Ronayne.
I am from the puns and the pedants, from engineering and English.
From Daddy has to tuck his cars in first and get your thumb out of your mouth. From just leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone. From you’re benched. From go sit on the wall for the rest of recess.
I am from clown homilies and musical drivel and banalities, so I left. But then I came back because the truth transcends time’s silly trends. Even when I don’t know anyone there, I’m at home.
I’m from Savannah and Wyoming, Ireland and Italy, Czechoslovakia and the Cherokee Nation, butter dips and Nesselröde pie and Anne’s Answer #2. And lots of boxed macaroni and cheese.
From his too-frequent business trips and the blue van that would bring him home, with all his ties, and the mother who made lists and picnic lunches and read to us until she wanted to fall asleep. On Saturdays he gave us whisker burns, and I pretended that I didn’t like them. On school days she gave me refuge in the library from fights.
I am from the old blue chest of drawers in the garage, stuffed full of unlabeled photos. Stuffed with discolored love.