Saturday, February 11, 2006

Adventures Where I'm From

Where I’m From by George Ella Lyons

I picked this up from Cowtown Patty. She picked it up from some of her friends who picked it up from their friends who picked it up… In the end, all the credit goes to George Ella Lyons, an American poet, who did it first. Please visit Patty and this man, Fred from Floyd. If you want to write your own, these two folks offer fine examples—and even a template to help you get started.

After reading Patty’s beautiful work, I wrote my own. I don’t think it’s finished yet. I might even change it.

I Am From Honey

I am from a tree house; from Mom's old magazines and all of Dad's tools. I am from a sandlot baseball game across the street. I am from the playground up at the school and from all those forts and hideouts up in “the desert.”

I am from that little two-bedroom house, but my bedroom was out in the back yard. We shared one bathroom, but sometimes the boys peed behind the wood pile, which was behind the garage. I am from bedtime stories and from dinner table tales. I am from hard work, an extra fifty cents and a newspaper route.

I am from the "Five and Dime" and from the Saturday afternoon matinee. I am from a Red Ryder BB gun and PF Flyers. I am from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. I am from Elvis Presley; from Bobbie Darin and Sandra Dee; from Buddy Holly and James Dean; from Chubby Checker and The Twist; from Adlai Stevenson and Ike; from Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

I am from a chain link fence that separates Mexico from me; that separates Spanish from English. From a fence that separates…

I am from a yucca cactus and from desert scrub brush. I am from Dad's beloved yellow-flowered Mesquite bushes, and from a shady honeysuckle trellis in the Neatest Driveway on Earth. I am from ruthless heat, and from thunderstorms that buckled my knees. I am from the most terrifying sound on earth: the snake's rattle.

I am from Mom's tacos and enchiladas; from the tortilla factory down the street. I am from fresh fried chicken; from meatballs and rice; and from so many raisins I made myself sick. I am from canned apricots and peaches, from canned tomatoes and pickled watermelon rinds. I am from hand-cranked ice cream…

I am from a '36 Chevrolet that was "new" in 1953, and from a green '37 pickup that faithfully hauled firewood to wood stoves in Mexico. I'm from old US Highway 80 and its red Burma-Shave signs, but the unpaved road past D Hill and out to Slaughter's Ranch was my favorite road of all. I am from Dad's bees. I am from honey.

I am from the prettiest church in town where we learned the words to all those hymns. I am from Mom's Bible classes and from Dad's many ways of service.

I am from our hefty Family Bible, with an American lineage dating back to 1757. I am from Paul and—well, Mrs. Nichols. (Don't you dare call her anything else!) I am from a line of Pauls that continues on for two more generations...

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