Where I’m From

21 Jan

With the recent passing of my Mom, I’ve been immersing myself in memories, keeping her alive in my heart.  We didn’t always get along or agree on things, but Mom is the single biggest influence on who I am.  Some years ago, I assigned my students to write a poem with a particular structure–The “Where I’m From” poem.  Even though they have a set format, they are cathartic and beautiful.  I wrote one as an example, and came across it just this week.  Great memories of Mom here.

I am from clothes on the line and starched collars, from a 7-Up bottle with a sprinkling lid, wetting wrinkles out of my dad’s shirts and Mom’s capris.

I am from a banister, sliding down with my sister when my parents weren’t looking.

I’m from the smell of mock orange in the spring, its pretty white petals like snow when seen from the branches of the climbing tree.

I am from a gang of kids playing cowboys and indians through the alleys, splashing barefoot through puddles and feeding breadcrumbs to ducks at the park.

I am from cornflakes with banana slices in Grandma’s kitchen, the fins of Grandpa’s tan Chevy, and their fancy aluminum Christmas tree.

I am from wait til your father gets home, from I’m your mother, that’s why.

I’m from fudge cooled in the snow, entire pans of Rice Crispy Treats eaten in front of The Partridge Family and sauerbraten with gingersnap gravy.

I am from First Communion, Confirmation and Christmas Midnight Mass; a veil over my blond braids every Sunday.

In a brown leather album, my mom kept for me, I am the baby who grew into a girl who vacationed, had birthdays in the park and sat with my cousins on a couch.

Here’s the very first picture in that brown leather album.  Mom and me, 1959.

Before she died, Mom and I called each other every week to have a cup of coffee together across the miles between our houses.  Have a cup of coffee with your mom this week, if you can.

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4 Responses to “Where I’m From”

  1. Carol January 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Would enjoy having a cup of coffee with my mom across the miles. Love your version of this poem. Have been revisiting places I am from this past week…. Feeding my soul.

    • secondcupofcoffee January 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      I’m enjoying finding things I’d forgotten about, or letting them find me….to remember Mom. I also have a where I’m from poem from snow’s point of view; may have to share that soon as well. Hope you’re enjoying the warm–it’s icky here. See you when you get back?

  2. Vegan Flavorista January 5, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    I love this! I am a casual memoirist myself. I have been writing about my life for the past 20 years. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of this pleasure that has been somewhat dormant for me over the past year. Blessings–Melanie

    • secondcupofcoffee January 5, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Thank you so much for visiting and reading! My husband and I are making the change to vegan, as well as fat free for our health. The recipes in your blog sound so yummy! I can’t wait to try them! I also write a food blog in addition to Second Cup. Maybe you’ll stop by there as well. So far not many vegan, but foods we’ve always found yummy. 🙂 http://www.somethinyummy.wordpress.com

      Best, Heidi 🙂

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