I am from sprinklers and Flinstone vitamins and made believe stories, the things that grow a young girl up.
I am from the long yellow house with a wood and small pond
(I dipped my toes in once, rafting,
but never again because the fish liked to nibble)
I am from the garden’s canned tomatoes and peas shucked finger-purple.
I am from the mimosa in her fancy feathers
and the crepe myrtle with her july-bright pinks and purples,
these summer ladies amused at our paper-fan attempts to cool ourselves.
I am from “doodle sauce” and crooked smiles, from rosie and cleo and grandfathers I hardly remember.
I am from the crawfords and russells and I know my father’s name
but not his branch of history.
I am from bunkbeds and sleepovers and stage whispers through walls,
from plump, messy women who hold grudges and love too hard.
I am from mind your manners and don’t count your chickens before they hatch, from the Ten Commandments and faith rugged as old crosses
and red letter editions in a pew held down by sister mary, and I wonder
if she was afraid to witness about jesus like I was?
I am from the South, from biscuits and grits
and fried chicken and greens, though not like how
my mama cooked them for the first time at age 32
and added a whole cup of sugar because when she called his momma for the recipe, she wasn’t too specific.
I am from history in typeface, newspapers
yellowing and fragile on the shelf in her closet,
world events and family obituaries too rich to throw out,
stored along with photo albums of her first marriage and us as babies.
I am from books and history and photos that never tell the full story.
i saw this at suzannah's (and hers is SO beautiful!) and decided to try my own.