Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write a Poem on "Where I'm From"

From Randy Seaver's blog, this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is this assignment:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Write a poem about "Where I'm From" using the template found at the website

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Google Plus or Facebook note.

I haven't done one of these for over a year, but I liked the challenge and decided to try. I'm pretty happy with the result. Here's what I came up with:

Where I'm From

I am from old cars, from Skippy peanut butter and hand-me-downs from cousins whose pretty dresses I loved to wear.

I am from the house on a dead-end near the dog pound, a tiny rental, the only one on the street with pine trees instead of sycamores and flower gardens planted by my mom.

I am from the pricker bushes that scratched my legs, from poison ivy rashes every summer, and from seeds sprouting through the coffee grounds next to the back stoop where we spit them because we were too messy to eat watermelon in the house.

I am from vacations spent at Grandma’s every year and cheapskates, from Atkinson and Tolbert and Fife.

I am from secret keepers and avoiders of doctors, from stories about relatives who weren’t, and true stories that I should have listened to more closely.

I am from Presbyterians who became Methodists, and from Baptists, who took me to a liberal pacifist church. I'm agnostic, yet I see evidence that my Sunday school lessons still influence me daily.

I'm from Scots and Germans from Pennsylvania and hillbillies of unknown origin, brought up on meat and potatoes and canned green beans.

I'm from my mom’s invented ancestry uncovered when I grew up, from a kiln operator whose work I’m reminded of every time I turn over a plate to read the pottery mark, from many housewives, some rumored to have earned a little extra income in ways that were whispered about, and maybe from a moonshiner.

I am from lost and re-found connections on my mother’s side and deep-rooted family trees collected by others who came before me on my dad’s. When I search for my ancestry, I learn about myself and feel closer to the people I love.


  1. This was so great giving us some wonderful visual images!


  2. Thanks for the kind words. I tried to make it honest and descriptive.

  3. Enjoyed your poem. I'm from canned green beans too, although I forgot to mention it.

  4. This is very honest, and beautifully done. :)



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