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I am from worn books with bent covers, and reading under the covers with a flashlight.
From cluttered albums that fill the house with music,
Paintings by my grandmother, a piano, a radio that only knows National Public Radio,
And a sink that produces the opposite effect of what you intend.
I am from horses—their tangled manes and muddy coats,
and their impatient calls on frigid winter mornings, from the thrill I get over a jump.
From a ropes course, my father’s dream, that sends kids high into the trees,
soaring above their fears.
I am from Gillie Lake and Billy Goat’s Gruff,
From the ice cream truck, and sprinting down the street after it.
From the cars that go too fast
And the woodpecker hammering away on the speed limit sign.
I am from Deda and Granny Pat, from Grandma and Pa,
And their stories.
From my sister Mary, who walked into her dorm room and never looked back.
From my parents.
I am from the constant repetition of the lifeskills:
flexibility, cooperation, teamwork, perseverance, effort, initiative, organization,
to name a few.
And childhood I love you more’s.
I am from pisinga, its rich chocolate smeared between sugary wafers of oplatky.
From the critisism and toil, that was all worth it in the end:
Chocolatey grins and almond slices arranged on top
I am from a huge maple tree, whose branches spread wide, like open arms.
From Australia and the treks there each year, to visit the awaiting family.
From Louie lake, it’s tranquil waters,
And the places I have yet to see.
I am from Keirstalyn, and a childhood together,
From Meghan, and being able to talk, and laugh.
From Beverly and Melody, my other mothers, who really are family.
From Miranda and Rachel, Emily, Aly, and Taylor, and all those who are there for me.